I’ve been in mat mode for the past month. Next month is March Matness and one can never prep too much. I’ve been experimenting with doing the mat repertoire with just “Return to Life” as my guide. I’ve been using the pictures and I recorded myself reading from the book. Here’s what I’ve learned about my own practice:
Your chin needs to be all the way to your chest in any rolling or articulation exercise. So anywhere you are round. Hundred, Roll up, Rolling like a ball, Ab series for example. When I squeeze my chin to my chest I feel a stretch in my neck, a release in my rectus , and my low abs engage.
Your feet need to work. Not more than your butt, mind you, but they need to stretch out and continue the line of energy out of the body. Joe cues the feet to point forward and down. When I lengthen and reach my feet in this way my quads turn off and my seat does the work. Voila.
Breathe for goodness sake. I could not believe how much the book cues the breath. Inhaling and Exhaling slowly to initiate and keep moving. Lo and behold, breathing makes things better. LOTS better. I could drop into the mat so much more and I could feel my ribs actually settle on to the mat which is the only way to really get at those low abdominals.
I learned a ton more and I feel so much more in charge of my mat work and variations I can give clients. It really is the alpha and the omega of THE WORK.