Get a Backbone Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 9

Fight for Your Pelvis

25 min - Practice


We want to work smarter, not harder. Kate turns our legs on, and lubricates our spine with this dynamic practice. You will feel open and prepared.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Namaste y'all. I'm glad you're here. So we're gonna do an abbreviated version of the Gaia grounded class today So we'll start seated So if you'll just come to a comfortable seated position and it can be any position you choose we're not going to be here too long just find a place where you can sit and Maybe close your eyes and start to come inside So just start to pay attention to your breath and Then feel the weight of the pelvis on the mat or if you're sitting on a blanket or a block Just feel the weight of the pelvis Let yourself get heavy in a good way You might find yourself kind of schlumping in your posture, that's okay Just nestle into your seat notice if you're leaning into one butt cheek more than the other even that out Relax and And then just start to lift up through the crown of the head. So you're like a little sprout growing up towards the Sun It's it's nice and natural. It feels gentle Nothing militant about it See if you can feel yourself lift up through the front and the back of the neck So it's like you kind of pick yourself up through the front and the back of the neck Relax the spine relax the eyes Relax the jaw Maybe even separate the back teeth and release the tongue in the mouth And let's just take about three to five breaths here On the inhale see if you can feel yourself expand and Then the exhale you hug your center line and kind of squeeze yourself in And then when you're ready you can open your eyes and let's come forward on to all fours So you come into a tabletop position? You're gonna spread your fingers wide and just get yourself in a position that feels stable So knees could be wide hands could be a little wider than the shoulders. It's it's fine wherever you are You just want to feel stable and then as you're ready to start into the cat and cow So exhaling to round the spine up towards the ceiling and an inhale drops the belly down towards the floor You can definitely switch the breath up. That's absolutely fine with me, but just getting some movement in the spine Try to relax the head in the neck and Notice how your shoulder blades are moving as you do this. Can you feel your shoulder blades move like air hockey pucks? Across the back You might linger in one position, you know a place where you really feel like you need to stay and work it a little bit Can you really feel the rotation of the pelvis and And also feel the shifting of the movement in the hands Then let's come back to a tabletop position feel the crown of the head reach forward feel the pelvis kind of stretch back Okay, so that was the first of four movements. We're gonna move into movement number two when you're ready So let's just go ahead. This is lateral flexion. So you're just gonna side bend So maybe bend your right elbow You might even bring your gaze towards your right foot and kind of squeeze your right shoulder towards your right hip So you're side bending to the right stretching the left side and Then come back through center. You might pause briefly and then just start to move to the left I like to just hold the first one on each side Just briefly and then just start to move it side to side and you notice that I kind of steer this with my elbows So I get my elbows involved. So I stretch my wrists and my hands Keep remembering that you're side bending It's easy for the body to forget and just kind of sashay the pelvis side to side But keep remembering that you're trying to move the spine side to side Side bending and Then come back to center We'll come into movement number three when you're ready Don't ever feel rushed start to arch the spine up like a cat in that cat position again Relax the head and the neck and then either to the left or right. You're just gonna start to move the spine like a jump rope So you're taking these big barrel rolls and by that I mean that you're Moving the spine as if you're tracing a barrel This takes coordination, so if you're not getting it right away, just keep looking for it. The spine should be able to do this Make sure you go in both directions and we're kind of combining the first two movements just getting a little deeper And then movement number four as you're ready you're gonna slide the hand slightly forward I like my hands a little wider and I even turn my hands out a little bit and then just start to drop your hips Back towards your heels and stir your pelvis around your knees So I do circles or horseshoes. I tend to like horseshoes But you could do full circles if you want This should feel like a good stretch for the outer hip when you come to the side And just keep in mind that we're moving the femur bone in its two major joints So I'm hearing a lot of popping going on but none of it hurts So I'm I think you can keep going if you hear some little popping if it hurts stop But just getting movement in the joints kind of letting everything resettle And allow your body to go fast at times and then slow at other times And Then eventually we'll move into just more of an organic movement Basically where you could kind of revisit some of the earlier movements I would recommend just closing your eyes It's nice to come into maybe a modified up dog where you just drop all this forward You can even kind of roll onto one hand Just if you don't know what to do I like to tell students to imagine that they're inside of a ball and you're trying to touch every aspect of the ball Something to really keep in mind here We're gonna take a couple more breaths of this is to keep the head in the movement You know, let it be a part of the show And make sure you're breathing So it's just kind of this gentle undulation and I'm finding the spots that only I can find And then you're just gonna start to make your way back towards child's pose No, hurry. All of this should feel good So in child's pose, you can rest your head down if you need to prop your forehead up with a forearm. That's fine You might give yourself a little wobble and then just relax and start to breathe let's take about three to five breaths here into the back ribs and into the side ribs and Gently exhale completely on each breath Relax the face the jaw the eyes And then start to make your way back up onto all fours peak at the hands again make sure they make sense adjust them you usually will and Then tuck your toes and come into your first downward dog. So the knees have been bent for a while So we're starting to let the blood flow come into the backs of the knees. I love this I love downward dog as a stretch to the backs of the knees That's where the blood flow blood supply goes down to the lower leg. So feeling the backs of the knees open up You might bend a knee press into a heel and get that calf stretch or Bend both knees and lift the sit bones and really feel the hamstrings like, you know, you'll know what to do You just kind of move it around or not Sometimes it feels good to be static And then eventually kind of stop the movement just hold the pose if you don't mind for a few breaths maybe a little softness in the elbows so that you you can lock out the elbows or just soften up a bit so that you Feel the muscles turn on in the arms and then start to bend the knees and walk your hands back So coming to the back of the mat At the back of the mat you might prop your forearms up on your thighs Just really let the back of the neck relax Or if you feel okay, just go ahead and let the arms drop down and neither one is better than the other Just do what feels right. You can give yourself a little gentle rocking any kind of movement you're craving again Really let go of the back of the neck. That's where I feel like a lot of people still hold on Then start to shift about 60% of the weight forward into the front of the foot So that's only 10% more than half. It's not that much It's just kind of like you're leaning into the front of the foot So starting to slowly roll the spine up pushing down through the feet Pull the belly up into the spine try to keep the arm bones relaxed. So don't let the arms do the work Don't lock out the knees. So the legs do the work really feel this in the spine Sit bones wrapping towards the backs of the knees the whole way up. So you're anchored down in the pelvis at the back And when you get to the top you can kind of move around a little bit soften the knee joint and then bring the arms up So remember when you bring the arms up it changes the ribs it changes the spine It can even kind of change the pelvis So as you bring the arms up draw the shoulder blades down the back and then find your front ribs So the front ribs might be splaying a lot of times people not lock their knees out and just bring their arms up like this but unlock the knees draw the front ribs back into the spine and draw the upper arm bones down into the joint Lift up tall through the crown of the head and then it's like you're in an elevator shaft You're gonna come straight up So lift yourself up through the crown of the head and come up onto the balls of the feet Try not to rock forward so much See if you can soften the knees when you get to the top and see what that does for your low back sometimes it can relax the low back to soften the knees press into the big toe and Then slowly release yourself back down focus on a non-moving spot Land with a little bounce in the knees and then draw your hands down to prayer position So draw your shoulder blades down the back and make sure that it doesn't flare the front ribs pull those front ribs back in it's Like you kind of just settle the ribcage back down on top of the pelvis like that lampshade on top of the pelvis Rib cage is like a lampshade So shoulder blades down the back and you're gonna pick yourself up with the crown of the head So there's a tendency to want to rock forward Try not to push down into the balls of the feet just pick yourself up through the crown of the head and you go straight up You won't go as high Press into the big toe. I'm losing it a little bit Keep finding the big toe and see if you can feel the big toe give you your inner thigh give you the center line of your body So often the knees soften the ankles that's very advanced and Then slowly lower yourself down Relax and If you want to bring your arms up with me on this last one you can so arms back up Remember the arms change everything so fixing little things finding your ribs again Maybe a little lift of the pubic bone softness in the knees and then again, you're gonna lift yourself up So it's almost like you pick yourself up with your pelvis So try not to feel it so much in the calves by relaxing the knees relaxing the ankles Try not to feel it so much in the quadriceps See if you can stay up here and release the arms down Relax Most advanced thing you can do up here is relaxed and then find your lower belly and put yourself down with your lower belly So a little softness in the knees if you fell it's okay. It's really not a big deal Alright, so you can kind of shake it out a little bit and then let's go ahead and bend the knees and bring your hands to Your thighs it's like you're listening on a huddle and you just start to rock yourself forward and back So what I mean by listening in on a huddle is that you're leaning into the bones You're relaxed your shoulder blades are coming up by your ears. Maybe and that's okay I like to think of you just rocking like a rocking chair here getting movement in the ankles And then eventually just kind of slow the rocking down You might even really like reach the knees forward get a nice compression in the shins It's almost like a flush to the shins if you keep the heels down and reach the knees out over the toes But then slide the knees back in space a little bit and we're gonna pick yourself up So stay low in the knees But just bring your hands to prayer position and now you now you realize how much you were leaning into the bones Now the muscles have to take over a little more So there's a tendency to want to really send the butt back But if you can wrap the sit bones underneath you sit bones kind of wrap towards the backs of the knees and honestly a more advanced Queue here would be to feel the tailbone reach back behind you and the sit bones wrap underneath you Some of you who are more advanced might actually be able to feel some of that subtle stuff if you think I'm crazy It's okay, but it might feel good to some of you and then from that anchoring of the sit bones reach the crown of the head long and Then just press down into the feet and slowly come up to standing. Don't lock the knees feed it up through the spine grow tall without lifting the chin or puffing the chest and Then hands come to the hips and we're gonna bend the knees and sink down But try not to just send the butt back and the chest forward So I like this concept of being in an elevator shaft where you just kind of lower yourself down so the muscles that I'm trying to work in these poses are the muscles that help you get out of a chair or Stand up when you're like 80 years old. So this is longevity and sustainability kind of muscle work We're doing so sink yourself down You'll feel your pelvis kind of rooted down a little wrap of the sit bones because you're not doing this you haven't just lost it You're wrapping the sit bones and keeping the pelvis engaged. You feel the muscles right underneath the buttocks I call them the smile muscles your lower glutes and upper hamstrings really working there feel the quadriceps And then just start to slowly float the knees forward. So the knees reach forward and that peels the heels up off the floor You don't come all the way up so you lock out the ankles try to relax the ankles and Then slowly release back down. It's actually easier to come up high and lock out the ankles So two more times knees reach forward heels lift keep that big toe engagement You're working the ankles and the arches of the feet here keep the pelvis level and then slowly lower back down So my pelvis isn't moving The action is happening but beneath my in my legs and in my ankles My pelvis is staying completely level and stable as much as I can keep it Find your breath really strengthening the ankles the arches knees reach forward on this last one as you lower the heels So make yourself work for it at the bottom pause for a second Pull the ankle bones back and you might be like weird I can actually do that and you can pull the ankle bones back a smidge feel that flush of the shins and now push down Into the heels find your butt by pushing down into the heels and come back up to standing Don't lock the knees feed it up through the spine You find that center line of energy and you just kind of relax into it All right. So let's give it a little shake and we're just gonna walk out to the front of the mat So we're gonna come into a couple of standing poses Just do each side just to get the body working a little bit So hands are on the hips. We're gonna step the left leg back and come straight into a high lunge If this is too much you could always ground the heel down But I'd encourage you to try to work here for a little while if you have that available to you So this is gonna challenge your stability a little bit as but you're gonna be able to keep your hips more square towards the front Of the room. So hands are on the hips. Imagine that if you had headlights on both hip bones, they're pointing forward That's what we're working towards So use your feet to kind of steer with your femur bones and get your pelvis as square as you can and then start to Straighten the front leg and you go straight up like you're on a carousel pull. So this is the carousel lunge Try not to lock out both knees. So soften the front knee and more advanced to soften the back knee I think that's harder to do and then You're kind of we get tend to get freaked out in the back ankle and push off the ball of the back foot Push off the ball of the back foot. That's a good cue, but try to relax the back ankle like ease off of it A bit, but then stay tall It's hard. So you're picking yourself up Nice and tall through the spine and then bend the right knee and push back through the left heel That's a three more times on your own. You're going straight up and down Fight for the pelvis. Keep steering with the femur bones Keeping the pelvis very square. It's making me shake Try not to lock the knees at the top, I think we have one more And then last one just sink it down good And then go ahead and bring your hands down to the floor and step yourself back into a plank pose So find a good plank pose if you need to come to down dog first, that's fine Find a nice healthy plank pull yourself taught like a clothesline So get the head on the spine a lot of people are in plank with their head down here get your head on their spine Draw your upper arm bones back slightly Feels like the upper arm bones are pulling back Back of the neck long little softness in the knees last little bit Can you feel the hamstrings back of the thighs lift up towards the ceiling the front ribs pull into the back ribs? And then slowly release your knees down Press back to a child's pose for a moment Okay, so take a couple of breaths in your child's pose. Try to breathe laterally through the side ribs Just feel the breath move into the rib cage the back of the body and the side of the body And then come up onto all fours when you're ready We're going to do a couple of push-ups here We're going to do some symmetrically and some asymmetrically And I really encourage you to play around with the position of your hands and also play around With whether you like to have your elbows wide or in We are really trained in yoga to keep the elbows in but maybe let your elbows be wide Just try something different just work different muscles, you know, try different things Alright, so we'll start in the center. We'll do three to the center three to the right three to the left and three to the center again So as well I should tell you bring your knees back a slightly behind your hips So we're not exactly in an all-four position the further back the knees the harder it usually gets Alright, so starting in the center one two three and then moving it over to the side one two three Three and then coming back over to the left So you're about at 45 degrees over to the left position your hands in a comfortable place And your hand placement might change every day That's that's great. That means it's different working different parts of the body and just three more to the center Good and then press back to child's pose And just observe for a moment if you feel more blood supply in the upper body Like can you feel the blood supply in the muscles of the arms maybe even down to the fingertips and the wrists And then starting to make your way back up onto all fours peek at your hands make sure they make sense Tuck your toes lift your hips into your downward dog So it's nice to walk the dog sometimes or not some people like to be static But I encourage you to be exploratory with your practice and not not fidget but be exploratory Relax the head and the neck and then bend the knees and start to walk the feet forward to the front of the mat So we're going to roll the spine up here again So a little space between the feet is usually what I like At least you want to feel stable in the feet dive the head down relax the head Imagine that the head is bungee corded to the floor here So that you got a little resistance down there The head is kind of gently being tugged down And then wrap your sit bones towards the backs of your knees So you kind of start to pick yourself up with your pelvis your belly pulls up into your spine But remember the head is still bungee corded down So just really rolling up feeling the sit bones wrap around the back of the body Stacking each vertebra Hopefully some of you more advanced relaxed the arms can feel that the front of the spine is in is Stacking the back of the spine So you're using the front body to stack the back body When you get to the top softness in the knees check in with the joints like settle into the joints beneath the pelvis Relax the upper body Hopefully you kind of have your own spine when you get to the top you feel like you're in your body again Hands on the hips we're going to step the right leg back and come into the carousel lunges with the left leg forward So steer the pelvis square feel as if you're pulling the femur bones up into the pelvis up into the body So it's like you're pulling the body all up into center You can feel that sensation of anchoring into your center and then float the arms up if you'd like On the second set just to challenge the upper body and start to straighten the front leg So don't lock the knees push off the ball of the back foot I need to shimmy my back foot more so push off the ball of the back foot and really get up there And notice if you're locking out either knee try to unlock the front knee and more advanced try to unlock the back knee I think that's harder If this isn't hard you're doing it wrong That's all I'm gonna say so little softness in the back ankle you kind of Drop down into that back ankle a little bit But then lift up through the crown of the head like pick yourself up off the mat As if you could levitate And then bend the front knee and push back through the right heel Fight for your pelvis three more times You're trying to work with the femur bones to keep the pelvis square Maybe a little lift of the pubic bones to feel the lower belly turn on Keep feeling the sensation that the femur bones are sucking up into the pelvis Going up and down on the carousel pull Last one land it down And then hands come to the hips Just give yourself a moment And let's bring the hands to the floor And then bring your hand hands to the mat step your left leg back into plank pose So you find a good plank pose again Again, you reach back through the heels pull forward through the toes head on the floor Again, you reach back through the heels pull forward through the toes head on the spine Maybe hold it for a breath or three or five And then slowly start to lower the knees down And let's press back to a child's pose Just briefly just like a two breath child's pose Like almost an active one keep your arms stretching And then lift back up and let's come forward onto the belly So coming into a sphinx getting a little bit of a backbend A lot of rounding of the spine so getting a nice little extension in You can bring your hands however you like them Some people like their palms flat I like my palms together And your elbows can be wider or narrower Find a place that feels productive Maybe separate your feet a little bit And then you also could do this in more of a yin fashion and kind of sag down into it And sometimes that feels good that little compression in the low back Other people like to press down If this is too much you can always slide your elbows forward Or just elbows wide rest your head down But we're going to hold this for just a few breaths So think about length in the front of the spine Of course a lot of stuff is going on in the back of the body So think about that length in the front body Last few breaths let's make it a little more active Press down through the forearms or the elbows a little bit And then pull the lower belly up into the spine So right now my lower belly is sagging a little bit to the floor So pull the belly up into the spine The skin won't leave the floor But the lower belly will pull up into the spine And there's a sensation that the tailbone is reaching to the space between the heels Usually this makes the shoulders kind of come up by the ears Because if you're You're removing the pelvis into more of a cat position So the shoulders are wanting to go into a cat position So a couple more breaths here We're trying to keep the upper body in a cow position Shoulder blades down the back And we're trying to keep the lower body, the lower half, in a cat position So the body is kind of being weaved into a place that it's not normally in And it's hard to hold that line So this makes me shake And then just slowly release it down, relax And maybe elbows wide, rest your forehead down for just a moment I like to just kind of imagine that I'm wagging my tail Just give your tail a little wag Relax the low back And then as you're ready just start to You could stay here longer if you need to But press back into a child's pose And be gentle Sometimes after that sphinx Especially if you're doing this in the morning It might be a little tight So just I always say like go back into child's pose Like you're driving an old pickup truck down a dirt road Like you're not in a hurry Maybe give yourself a nice healthy wobble A couple of deep breaths They might be the deepest breaths you take all day And remember exhale to completion Let it all go So the next breath is even more full, even more rich And then hands can slide back, palms facing down Elbows draw back behind you Which draws the shoulder blades down the back And gives you pressure into the hands And then curl the forehead in towards the knees And just slowly roll the spine up Tailbone wraps around the heels If this is too much it's okay if the hips lift away from the heels And just pause at the top Really nice y'all Thanks so much Namaste


Stephen B
2 people like this.
Kate's a great teacher!
Kate Smith
1 person likes this.
Steve, you are AWESOME for watching and passing along your enthusiasm. Much love coming out to YOU.
Karen R
3 people like this.
Whoa. This was so great. You ARE a very good teacher for me. I have some compression in low back and every time I tilt my pelvis, my chest caves in. So, with the cue to open the front of my body and release my shoulders, while curling in my tail, HUGE. And, really everything you said was incredible. :)
Simon ?
1 person likes this.
We loved this practise. It feels very effective. You have a great way of guiding us into the body. Really helpful. Blessings!
Paige Cane
3 people like this.
I joined Yoga at any time because Kate Smith is on here. Are used to take her class at Gaia yoga in Charleston she’s outstanding, knows her anatomy & doesn’t BS...miss you Kate!!! 
Elizabeth M
Thank you for being here, Paige Cane! 🙏 
Kate Smith
Paige Cane how lovely to be here with you and enjoy a cosmic practice together! Thanks for the kind words, Soul Sister. :))) Abounding LOVE coming your way
Fabian H
2 people like this.
enjoyed this practice :))
Kate Smith
Thanks, Fabian ! Glad to be here with you. :) 
Craige H
2 people like this.
Amazing! Was in Charleston last weekend for my anniversary and thought of you. Google did not give me a number but did bring me here. You are an awesome yoga instructor. Was nice to hear your voice Hope you are well and happy!
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