It’s the end of another year and we are off to hear the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. An orchestra is a wonderful example of the power and beauty of combined effort. One instrument on its own cannot perform an entire symphony, but a full orchestra. Now that’s another matter entirely.

Teaser is a full body exercise. I would also say that it is a full mind and body exercise as I think it requires great focus. What better time of year to do this than December when our lives become rather hectic. Treat yourself to a mind and body connection for a few minutes with Teaser.

You’ve probably seen lots of photos on social media of Pilates practitioners doing Teaser in their favourite holiday spot. I’ve even seen one on rather rocky coral, which must have hurt! I’m sure that person ended up with a very interesting imprint on their bottom. I don’t recommend that.

This exercise is a combination of previous abdominal exercises like Roll Up (March 2018) and balancing exercises such as Open Leg Rocker (September 2018). Your spine will move through flexion to extension. There are a number of variations that will be mentioned later.

We will start in the supine position (lying down) with arms stretched overhead and legs straight and extended to mid-height off the floor. It is also possible to start with legs at 90/90.

Inhale to circle the arms around and roll your spine off the floor to a “V” sit position. You are balanced on your Sitz bones and your arms are held out parallel to your legs. Maintain the legs at whatever position they started. Your torso is extended, there is width across the collarbones (gently draw the bones of the upper arms into the shoulder sockets)

Exhale to roll back to supine in a controlled manner. Arms reach back overhead at the end.

If this is too challenging, you can start with one leg on the floor and one leg extended. Try it on each leg first before starting with both legs in the raised position

You can vary the arms also. Instead of circling, you can reach your arms forward, although I feel the circling method brings the arms and shoulders into a lovely open position. See what works for you.

Things to watch out for when you are not doing this exercise under supervision:

  •  Your legs! It is a real challenge to keep them still and unaffected by the up and down movement of your torso. They will want to bob up and down like a seesaw.
  •  You may be tempted to rock forward off your Sitz bones at the top of the movement, its important to maintain some flexion of the pelvis. This means that your pelvis will be slightly tilted backwards
  • The breathing – rolling up on an inhale is more challenging but rolling up on an exhale may incorrectly encourage you to use momentum instead of abdominal control
  • Your hip flexors will be working to maintain leg position. If you are naturally tight here, I recommend doing Swan (from last month) first to counteract this tightness. A couple of standing lunges too would be helpful.

What you will feel:

  • A symphony orchestra in your body.  A beautiful position on the outside, and inside the abdominals, back muscles and hip flexors working as one
  • A lengthened back and neck
  •  Abdominals being tested especially in the controlled rolling back part of the exercise.