Class #1020

Strengthen and Stretch

60 min - Class


Niedra teaches a Reformer class that gives you a great balance between strengthening and stretching. She starts with a Magic Circle warm-up to wake up your muscles, then goes into a Reformer workout with fun variations on classical exercises. You will open up your body with Short Spine Stretch, Climb a Tree, and Back Bend.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Jump Board, Magic Circle

About This Video

Mar 28, 2013
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Good evening. I'm going to do reformer workout tonight. Probably will use a little bit of the jumping board, a little bit of the magic circle and some unusual but fun variations on the traditional classical style. I am working of course with my grafts machine here, which is a little bit stronger spring to the spring. Tensions can be different from other equipment, but it's all fun and games. So to start, just to get my arms toned, the bed, I'm really lifting up the elbows and squeezing, making sure my ribs are closed and my spine is long. Squeezing, squeezing, squeezing, squeezing, releasing, squeezing, squeezing, squeezing, squeezing, releasing. This is just to get my lads, get my triceps going in a little energy in my arms and in my chest and then working at in, in, in, in, in getting nice and tall through my spine and out, out, out, out. Reaching those arms long and broadening across my shoulder blade.

One more time. Coming in and getting this sense of Nice lift and going out and holding it. One more time, making sure those elbows are lifting up, working hard to keep my shoulders down, my elbows up, and even more contraction. Whew. Okay. This is just my little warmup now out of thighs, a very interesting because we usually hugging the midline and sometimes people can have zigzag, maybe knock knees and the outer thigh area is not as active as it could be. So very slight external rotation and I'm prefacing my knees way, way, way out and I can feel my pelvis widening and the engagement of the it band in a very unusual way. It usually pressed into the bone, this actually opening and activating it and then releasing.

So this is a fantastic way to set the pelvis, open up the pelvis, open up so there's room for the sacred to be long and flat and for all the lower abdominal muscles to really be integrated correctly. Also helps set the hips in the socket in a nice way. Different from how I usually work, which is more hugging the midline and getting narrow so it can, again, I find sometimes if the hips are rolled in or rolled out and doing funny things, this can start to get the missing link connected up. So one more time. Lifting my powerhouse, working through the spine, really working every time to go, oh, a little bit more and really wake, wake up the range of movement in my body that felt awesome. Inner thighs, nice and talk and hold my arms. And again, working in and really just holding it for a minute because this is an advanced workout. Want to wake up the muscles, get the structure in shape. I can feel my hips readjusting in my, in the, as they kind of find their new place and the muscles start to connect.

And again, pressing in, holding it can work the feet up and down just to get more connection and wake up in the muscles. One more time. Working in, in, in, in, in smiling, keeping calm in my upper body around there goes, yes. Okay, now calves, again, people roll out, they roll in. The shinbone is that going in all different directions and the balance between the ankles and the knees can have for each person very unique variations. And most of the time the cap and Shin is a bit sluggish. People are not aware that they can actually hug the outer part of the calf inward or hug the shin bone bone in and place it more straight on top of the heel. So if you can wake up the sensation with this work and then even add a little bit of work through the fee, it's wonderful to wake up the legs one more time. Pulling in, pulling in, pulling in, working my feet in even more.

Lifting and lowering and releasing. And last one is right by the ankles. Pressing the heels in. I'm pressing the heels in again. Sometimes people's heels have rolled out or the ankle joint is rolled out.

This starts to get the very low part of the leg firing nicely. And one more time. And this is one of the ones that I like to use to really align my feet well and wake up the intelligence in my feet and my legs. Okay. Now I'm going to do something unusual, which is set myself up with only one spring so that I can wake up again, slightly different aspect of my legs had risked his up and I'm having my heels down and my pelvis feels nice and long and all I'm doing is pulling the machine in. So what's happening now is it's waking up my hamstrings, my glutes right near where the rotator muscles are and my deep lower abdominals.

It's more sense of pulling the carriage in than pressing out and then starting to take the carriage all the way in and out. I'm also being aware to the same time that all five toes are on the bar and that the spine is long and that my ankles are not moving. They're not going up and down. So, believe it or not, this is a lot of work into the hamstrings, into the glutes, and into the calves and gives us sense of aligning the legs, all the, so there's an integrity between the front and back part of the legs, burden approach. I'm working all five toes all the way around, starting with a small movement and then gradually taking the movement bigger and bigger to get this length coming through the legs. So inner hamstrings and, and, and hips, I'm working hard to control the whole movement. Hardest one of all is heels because there's so little to bring the machine in.

So I know this is slightly different with different types of machines. Um, and if the spring is bringing you in, you're missing your own integrity in the body. So if you can figure out a way to make your reformer really not help you too much, you really discover a whole other reality about what this workout can do. Ah, it's fantastic because what it's making me do is really anchor my hips and hold them very steady. So my powerhouse is really kind of the center of the movement.

The focus is more on pulling in the going out now going into tendon stretch again. The beauty here is that I feel my bones right in the center, there's a balance between the front and the back of my legs and I really right in the center of that, which is little bit different when you work on a lot of springs. It's a whole other type of a workout and come back in. But my legs feel very worked, so I at least springs a very strong, I am adding two more springs. I'm not working on the form working on three.

I'm kind of a lightweight person myself. So just to start integrating the upper part of my powerhouse, I'm broadening across the collarbones and reaching the arms long so that I really stretch on the shoulders. So I'm trying to do as big an arc as I possibly can and I can feel the whole ribcage starting to engage and then going into the hundreds reaching out and for change. I'm gonna rest my leg, so it's all about my upper body. And every time I breathe out, I tried to curl my upper body up a little bit more and really push into the straps. So what I'm doing here is focusing on getting the shoulders very broad, the upper back really open and wide and the front chest and the rib cage can tract it. And of course the breathing.

And I'll assume I've done a hundred hm. Deepening with the arms and coming back down. I know reformer is right without short spying massage. So in the traditional method we would never allow to pull on the straps. Whoops, I can tell you glad I tried that because I had three springs so I'm back on too. And the idea was that if you cannot get your bottom up and your feet in the straps without moving the carriage, you're not ready for short spine massage.

So from here pressing down, I'm checking that my feet are not dragging below the level of the shoulder. So it's a very much of a geometric body of work where I press out and just a few times testing to see if I can lift without my feet moving at all. In space. Now here they are pressing with the arms and using the powerhouse, the lift and go over first time bending the knees very deep and just massaging the back, massaging the hamstrings and when I can go and no further pressing down. So crest school, lifting up as high as I can.

Go on with control going over now. Bending, halfway, rolling an inch, pulling an inch, rolling, pulling, rolling, pulling, rolling, pulling. Wow. Lot of opening into the spine. Yeah, same thing from a deep position pulling. First Rolling, a little bit, pulling, rolling, pulling, rolling, pulling and pulling. It just allows a beautiful opening in the back. And last one just to stretch the legs in the back out again, a little bit higher angle lengthening down, lengthening down and as I'm a stretchy sort of a person, give this to dancers, really working the legs and then pulling the feet down and just again to open up into the hip flexes slightly. Letting the legs release, letting the pelvis release and bending.

Now coordination. So again, carriage is in curling way up and pushing into the straps a little bit. Making sure my shoulders are down, extending way out, opening and closing, deepening, bending and bending and extending again, deep and Ben. Now opening close, lower, lower, deepen more. And in last one again, opening, close, lowering the leg and lifting, lowering the leg, lifting, deepening more deep, deep, deep, deep, deep with a strap and coming down. So from here I am going to get the long box set up. So as I'm playing around with variations, I will start with a series of five over here, which is a fun place to work with them.

And there's a few ways of this can be done, but I'm going to take my chest over the edge so that I can actually open out and see a double leg stretch. So nicely lifted up. So I'm staying off the edge and just going out a few times and then adding a deep bicycle bicycle. So there's this huge stretch into the hip flexor, which feels fantastic on the top of the thigh and last one coming in, big round chairs, pulling the stomach in and then out. Nice hollow position, reaching down and deepening into the powerhouse out way down. Big Circle deeping into the power house and one more time out, way down. If I wanted to challenge people, including myself in the teaser and with control coming down into scissors, now the leg that's going down can get extra traction. So this of course is not a beginner's version.

It's only once the center is nicely balanced, the adding a little bit more flats and you can play with really opening the lid, the top leg as well. Pull, pull and pull pool. Now opening up for a minute and lifting up, lowering and up and deepening into their powerhouse. If people were really strong, they'd go way down there. I need someone yelling at me to do it one more time and coming in, crawling up, opening out just to get an extra stretch, curling way up into criss-cross, staying high lifting, twisting way around and twisting and twisting, oh, I'm falling back. I need to work on this and twisting, curling in and coming up and I think I'm ready for opening up my shoulders with pulling on the straps. Actually before that I'm going to do the swan on the Cadillac.

Woopsie daisy. Yep. There we are. This is good. So I want my hips right at the edge. This is not my favorite place to do it, but I think it's always good to do what's not your favorite at a time. So from here, lifting way up, scooping the powerhouse, going down, keeping the navel off, lifting up and coming out of the lower back, long deepening and relaxing down. Lift and scoop. Lift up, stretch and try to go longer and down and lift and scoop.

Lift up, stretch long with the legs. Pull the stomach up and down. Oh, so from here I'm stretching out, checking that my shoulders are flush with the edge, lifting my legs up and with control, releasing the arms down and I just remembered I need to put myself on one spring. I won't be very functional. So pressing out this make noise, noises, good and sliding back in. That feels better. So lengthening through my powerhouse. I'm literally trying to lift my navel off the box, pulling the shoulders back and lengthening the chest forward and releasing down.

Keeping that stomach lifted and my legs lifted. Trying to go a little bit further and down. One more time, pulling way up and then a few tricep pose. Oh my goodness. And and lower down. Taking the orange to the side very long first time parallel.

Next one is above my bottom, lifting my chest. And then the third one lifting up again, trying to get those hands above my bottom and back from here. I'm adding a spring so I can get into back stroke and hips as close to the front on the Grad. And I lie down and I already pull and lift my chest up. So I'm already riding the tension of the apparatus lifting up, opening, curling. As much as I can.

Very advanced people. Take the legs down and deepening in with resist. Trying not to get low. Lift open and deepening into the pose. And last one, just to make myself work a little bit harder. I'm adding beets, deepening, working those inner thighs, smiling. That's what my teachers always told me to do.

Bending in. Oh my goodness. Now coming up for everybody's favorite teaser. So I'll start with my legs nice and long. This is a beautiful place because the chest is supported, but it's one of those places you can really let the shoulders broaden. You kind of feel the base. So pulling just to here.

So I've neutralized now just my powerhouses lifting me up. So three times down in, up staying scooped. Lift. One more time and lift. We're hole deepening into my powerhouse. Resisting with those arms.

Rolling through the spine and letting everything open. Taking a breath in and scooping up. And again, one and two and three. Let's see if I can go even higher and rolling down with control. Last one, rolling up and circles and one and let's see if I can go a higher lifting more. Yes. And one more time. Even higher lifting. Whoa.

And Roll. Roll, roll and down. Now I'm going to do a fun horseback, which is backwards. This is this in some of the very old pictures of Justin the you saw him doing this that usually the way it's done, but it's nice to mix things up some time. Very important to work the innercise. And I will often take a few moments to make sure I'm not just rolling out and using my glutes, but really working with the adductors.

Sometimes I'll even bend the knees to make sure that I've got right muscle group working for me. So from here I'm going to scoop and pressing arms down, filling up the back body three times, pulling back two, three, lifting, scoping even more and sitting back in the saddle. Nice and tall and deepening and pressing down and pulling. One, pulling two. Let's check myself in the lovely mirror here. And three, it's great to look at yourself in the ocean school. Pull one.

Can I get even higher too? There's that pelvis three and sit back. Oh, okay. Now I think I'm going to go right into short box just because the box is already here and I'll get my stick. Okay. And I'm adding a spring, so I have at least two springs feed in the strap.

Make sure I'm sitting one hand with from the edge, slightly bending my knees and pulling. So I have traction on the strap. So starting up for round back, nice long spine for me, I'm an Archie types. Have a tendency to overarch have to keep checking all the time is my sacred really long, my front body, even with my back, work my hips, and then broaden through the pelvis to scoop. Rolling down. First Time I'm just gonna go a half way. Second time, I'm going to go a whole lot further and release. Opening out. This is a fantastic place for the spine to let go.

Grilling and grilling in curling in, sitting up tall. Third Time I'll give myself a pat. Fantastic stretch. So very important for the sacred to be steady. Set all the way down and then traction, big pull and pressing into my heel, opening the chest a little bit more. My back, just crack, deepening in and coming back up.

Now I'm going to show you a fun trick because a lot of times people are feel that they create compression and one of the ways you can kind of really avoid this is if you get your hands, you get your sacred, Lockton, you lengthen. So I'm using the force of my arms to get linked through the waist all the way down and on the way up I do the same. I'm really pushing into the box in order to transcend the spinal column and a little sugar just softening down, coming up of blackbox black back. So arms are long to begin with. I check that my shoulder blades are wide and then lift.

I'm going to do this a few times just to get sense of how to get the whole spinal column to lift up, including the narrowing in the hips. So the back is long checking that my ribs are not piked out and then long back going back one long piece and coming up again, narrowing the hips a bit in order to secure the alignment of the back and even longer lengthening out links coming out and coming back up, hooking the stick, giving myself a stretch side to side has a lot of different variations depending upon what the shoulders had wanted to do. The hands can be more forward and more up. I'm going gonna start with a slight forward lean reaching both sides of the waist out, both sides of the waist out. So it's like the trunk of a tree in the wind, a big thick tree. Now we'll be more like a willow.

So now I'm going vertical and bending exactly to the side. And this is stretching the side ribs. So this is a slight different quality stretch and a different opening. Both are valuable. Pick and choose whatever your client or you need.

Now twist big lift rotation. First Time I'm just checking how much can I rotate, how much can I rotate and how much can I lift? Then twist again out. First Time I'm staying on both hips. Second time I'm bringing my legs together and I'm going onto the hips.

So it's more of a side stretch. Lifting up, twist onto the hip, reaching way out. And third one was spear the fish, I think it was called. So nice and long twist onto the hip, way out. Take your stick and grab a fish or a hundred pound weight and bring it up. Twist all the way out, grab a treasure.

Paul and this is the hip. This is the hip, that's the hip that brings you back up. Most people stay on the hip and then they roll back and then I'm giving myself another good stretch. I can feel my body starting to feel loose and juicy and strong. Really pulling the thigh in. So the most important thing is to get this tie is close to the body.

So when it's going up and down, even if the body is slightly rounded, getting a nice stretch in the hamstring and underneath the buttock. If you're working more here, it's a different quality. So nice way to open up the back and then get the body actually super, super flexible because we've done other ones where the back was in full extension. So now the focus is more on the legs. I'm checking the hips going all the way down. Nice stretch here. Oh, that feels wonderful.

Releasing and coming back up and stretching. Second time going down again. Now this time I'm going to do three circles, one circle to circle, three reversing it and one, two, three releasing my I, if you literally feel my back release more and more, curling in, slithering up that leg and extending. And then the third one taking the leg to the side. So I'm reaching it out and trying to be as tall as I can.

And then I either keep my hand on the heel, I can slide down onto the calf, pushing that leg down and then lifting up with the leg to the side, bringing it over, giving a nice stretch into the hip. Other side. Oh, okay. Hip Xander. This is a slightly tighter hip for me, so I'm going to get as much bend as I can even if my back is not long and lifted because it works deeper into the hip socket when I allow the spine to give so that the socket is more deeply challenged. Three lifting up. I'm pulling my stomach up at the same time, looking to get inside my body on extra lift.

Good and all the way down. Nice stretch, climbing up, climbing up, climbing up and lifting, going down again. And this time doing my leg circles and two and three reversing it and one and two and three all my back. Just let go a little bit more. Curling up, curling up, curling up and lifting. And now taking the leg out and keeping my hips square.

I let my hand slide down and opening that leg out. Now the trick is going to keep my leg to the side. Can I keep it to the side? Can I get my back really long? How high will it go? And bending and crossing over. Oh, that felt the licious. So from here going into stomach massage and let's see here.

Lots of variations that can be done with stomach massage. I'm going to work with three springs again, these are really strong springs and I'm a little bit of a lightweight, so depending upon the person's size, this told her 105 is the make break point between three and 410 can't remember, but I'm 105 110 pounds. But you don't want to over on grots. You want to work hard. It's definitely more of a muscle workout, but you still want to watch it. Now I can feel myself falling back. I'm lifting way, way, way up, but still keeping that scoop and length in the lower back, lower and two. Oh, I can see I have to watch because the machine wants to start moving on the floor. That means I'm not working enough from the powerhouse, but more from my legs. There we go.

I'm controlling it better. Releasing a spring, arms behind, lengthening way up and again, lifting that stomach up, watching because the floor is slippery here. It's actually very interesting because if I push too energetically and lose control and I'm just throwing energy out of my body, the machine will start to take a ride and I'll leave the vision of the camera so I have to work correctly here and now. Big Lift forward, stay there, lift up out of the lower back and reach a little bit more and oh a little bit more and one more time and more, more, more pulling back, pulling back in the stomach. But lifting out hands come down and press and twist and twist. And I'm watching that my heels stay the same twist and I'm trying to lift up as much as I can every time a little bit more so that I have more space to rotate and twist.

Now single leg pressing out, this is a wonderful one. When there's some knees and quads it needs to be rehabbed. Very, very good actually to strengthen the leg. And I've had some knee injuries is always one I include and I'm very happy with the results I have to say. I notice I'm falling back, lifting up and over another side, constantly pulling my powerhouse up and my sit bones are anchored just under certain delicious feeling in my lower back and now full stretch, poor dressing out to stretch my back lower. So what so lovely here I'm anchoring my sit bones under and I'm really feeling how my back is being opened up.

I have very long hamstrings so it's real easy for me to just fall. But this is really a hamstring stretch. By getting that extra little bit, now I'm working my trunk and my spine and it's so delicious because I can control the hypermobility that I personally have to work with within my own body. Oh, fantastic. Now tendon stretch, very interesting. Um, I will just do basic today because it's such a lovely, um, way to really prepare people. It's actually sitting with the sit bones just in front scooping, bending over a little bit and first few times, Ooh, actually I have the springs incorrect because I had the two, um, middle springs and I wanted two out of springs. So this will work better because my heels are riding into the springs.

So my sit bones are anchored just in front of the bar, which means as the legs go out, I'm really being pushed into the bar. If I don't have my sit bones in the right place, I will be flying all over the place. Now pressing out I flex scoop over and press, so a lot of work in the powerhouse and then try to lift my hips straight up as the carriage Greens comes in right under my hips. So I feel like I'm going to fall forward. And that's where the work is. Again, pressing out, bending over, pressing further, and then lifting the hips, lifting the hips, lifting the hip, lifting and again, pressing out, pulling the stomach in and bending over, over, over, over, pushing way out and lifting up, up, up, up, up and up. Oh, that was very good.

Now very often people can feel how much work it should be in the stomach. So I will have them sit on the side of the reformer, bend over, lift their hips up and see if they can lift their legs and sit down. And that is definitely a gymnastic moves. And Justin [inaudible] was definitely into that. That was where a lot of his inspiration came from.

So it's a wake up called how much your body needs to work, how much your stomach and your legs need to work to get this pull-ups. I'll do this again myself, scooping over, lifting up, pulling the hips back and lifting up, holding and coming down. That was work. Now I done quite a bit of active work. Now I go for overhead to allow the body to relax a little bit. So the headrest is down the arms along in the legs along so nice long spine, long arms. I've moved down a little bit from the shoulder rest, so I have room pulling down with the arms and over with the legs. This is move number one, trying to get my hips as close over my shoulders as I can and then lifting as high up as I can rolling down, keeping those feet above my forehead. So a lot of control.

Pressing into the arms. His legs go down and over and low. Up and rolling down, rolling down, pushing those arms away from me and arms up. Legs down. One last time over hips, up and roll. Roll, roll and down. Now the straps go back. I'm placing my feet on the foot bar and sliding forward for semicircle.

So I'm trying to get as far forward as I can with my hands flush with the edge so there's maximum traction and the the edge of the carriage is right close to the middle of my shoulder blades, my knees about hip width apart from here I scoop and roll the hips down into the spring. If you're flexible, you can go down d, press halfway out, lock the carriage scoop undulate up. Make check that my neck is long and I push with my arms into the s th this shoulder, Russ in length and the size out. Roll. This, this point right here is fantastic for opening the chest rolling up cause that bar pushes right into the area of the spine behind the shoulder blades that most people get very, very tight. And I've never met someone who didn't enjoy getting that area to open up. Rolling up and coming in. I sinned long reversing it. The hips stay up, rolling down, rolling down and stretching the size.

Pressing out. Rolling. Rolling. Rolling Dad and thighs. One more time, pressing out, rolling down and over. Now my heels are really lifted, grabbing the foot bar and stretching and then I'm dropping the heels and stretching. Both of them are fabulous stretches. So chest expansion. I've got two springs strong springs. I'm feeling strong today and Fita hip with the part looking to get a big lift in the hips and up through the spine, pulling way back, head to the right, left and release.

So I've opened my chest, now I'm looking to strengthen it every time I want to get a little bit taller and a bit more broad in the shoulders. Oh these springs are strong. So kneeling down, I'm adding one more spring, bringing my thighs forward and four thigh stretch, pulling the hips way up. So the feeling here is to to like stomach massage. Actually seen a lot of people do this exercise with the backlog, but you can really have that up and over like spine stretch, forward feeling and that often will be regulatory into how much the thighs open. Hips up forward. Stomach is up, lowering, lifting the arms to come back up and now back bend into the upper body.

I'm locking the hips, opening the chest, closing, lifting and coming back up, going into full back bend. So, so we've kind of warmed up the bat. This series is fantastic for warming up the back and Deepak extensions are tricky because very often people will talk their Kale in order to get the beginning of the back extension. And I actually think that that does not free up the spine. It locks in jams a hip sockets, so you need to let the body be in its natural position and then lift out of the waist because unless it's locked, the hips will naturally swing forward. So just to have a sense, the first, once or twice I just have people lift and then feel how the hips open in front here, but without them tucking the tail.

So they allow the pelvis to swing just easily. Then once I have that sense, the arms come up and again, big lift in the waist. The pelvis has to be sort of free with the legs grounded and then the chest will open and open and open. And you can start to really open into the deeper places in the body and down. And one more time. I think I should be in second gear, but never mind or I'm in negative gear. It's all good. Big Lift. Get the shoulders open. So when you're in a back bend, the ribs can release some.

There's no problem with a lot of the workout has been on holding the rib thing. This will free a whole other dimension in the back and in the spine and in the armpits. And two and three in the legs. One, two, three. No, I'm using the lats. Whew. And lengthening my body down. O k now let me see here. Why not go for corkscrew?

That will be fun. So we have these funky handles and they are great because you can hold onto them and pool, which helps engage the lats and work the upper body a little bit more. And when we're doing the very big spectacular moves you need, it's a full body workout. So the legs will come up over pulling to lift. Now attempting to keep the elbows wide as I roll down to the right, the left rolling to the left, right and, and to the right, left and Oh and one more time to the left, right and up and rolling all the way down, lowering the legs and moving down a little bit more for balance control.

Now there's a few different ways of rolling through their head. I'll give you the variation. I believe in I found work. Um, it's a point of discussion because some people disagree, but whatever. So powerhouses in it. I end up, you notice I'm not totally with my head off. I'm slightly in between and I'm rolling out to first of all hearing and my hips are above my shoulders with the right foot.

I'm finding the top of the reformer, finding the top of the reformer. Good. Now sliding down top of the reformer, going to the ground and wo rolling up. Seeing if I can lift up and balance. I'm cheating. Who Cares? Now this is a point I believe when rolling right through. So I'm placing my head in the center and I'm rolling right onto the back of the neck and shoulders and rolling down.

Just like a somersault rolling up with the other side. Lifting way up. The foot comes to the top of the frame, to the ground. The leg stays up as high as possible and balancing, bending, lifting. And now I've got my right hand on the top. I'm bringing my head right in and I'm rolling right through and lifting and rolling. Rolling, rolling down here, lowering down. So the human body is supposed to be able to do a somersault.

So in this we are actually working very much this way. Sometimes people take a roll through on the side of the neck, it's totally fine, but there's nothing wrong with this. You can control the whole shape strongly with the arms. You hardly have any pressure on the neck and it allows the neck to open. And in the super advanced work we then start to do somersaults into the well and that really you have to have an open neck to do it.

So it's quite a a point for discussion. Now we have worked a lot with my legs. I will do some arm work, just basic chest expansion front, so taking the straps and kneeling, lengthening up through the trunk, bringing the arms up so late on leg arm circles. Lifting up these springs are so strong and it's wonderful because I can really work in my shoulders and in my arms and in my chest to control the movement. Reversing. Oh my goodness.

I'm going to be so strong tomorrow and get up and down the springs. I'm only on one spring. I probably should be in first gear, not enlightened, negative gear and going up into arm curls one and two and three and four earn five and boring the arms down. That felt fabulous. Going into balance. Control Front, no plank, so nice long position, long stretch, pressing out and coming in without the heels moving. So it's giving me a lot of stability. Now in my chest, bending my knees down and hips forward. But again, long spine, some anchoring in the powerhouse, anchoring, anchoring, lifting up on the fingertips, lifting up the sternum, little back bend coming up, big back bend, lifting, lifting, lifting and arking.

Opening up the upper chest and up. Stretch with control over. Oh that's so nice. And then trunk with control. Okay.

And elephant, bringing my heels a little bit further forward. Really pulling way, way, way up back and forth. [inaudible] making sure I'm pulling my tail down every time I press out and I can feel the hamstrings can track now to get the lengths in. Arabesques is lots of variations of this. Today I'm working in more flexible type and keeping the balance even on both hands and bringing the carriage in three times and then bending the knee or other side, pressing out, anchoring the hips, lifting the leg up without the trunk changing shape.

Really the carriage in to increase the openness in the hips and bending. Lifting that knee up, arking up, arguing up, arguing up and then for extra strength coming up on the foot bar, shoulder rest, what am I saying? And in three times pulling it in, pulling it in other side, lifting up and pulling it in, pulling it in and pulling it in. Whoa. Okay. Now long spine massage.

A break for myself. I'm getting the straps. I am hooking the strap, the leather, the handle and the extension strap so that I will have a longer setup. All righty. And putting the foot bar down. I am on two springs before I go up.

I'm just checking that when I put my feet in the straps, the hooks are on the outside that they don't accidentally get caught with each other. So here we are. That's all good. And my head rest is down cause I'm going to be going up in the air in a minute. But to start out, I'm just going to take a few frogs just to anchor my pelvis, reconnect and rebalance my relationship with all my body parts. That's it. I'm glad I only have two legs and two arms and two sides of my spine and a few legs. Circles really deepening through the powerhouse, feeling those legs extending out now rolling up. So as the legs start to come up, I'm rolling up, opening and rolling down my head.

Rest really down. No it's not. Oh my goodness. I would have been crucified if I was in an exam lifting up open, pulling the stomach in and rolling down. Now a little trick a lot of people can't roll out. So often I will start people in the vertical and just scoop the pelvis up and down, scoop the pelvis up, kind of riding into the strap open. And so they start to find the muscles cause what'll happen, they'll go here and try to come up with the momentum.

You really need to work these very low abdominal muscles and so you gradually can inch your way with familiarity and mastery to more high plane with the legs extended out and the hamstrings engaged and still works through the body so nicely. So it really becomes a full spinal massage where impulse articulation, strength, and flexibility are being challenged all at the same time. And I'm reversing rolling up with the legs apart, bringing the legs together and rolling through this spine. And again, rolling up, rolling up and reaching out with those legs. And I can literally places in my back starting to open further and rolling, rolling, rolling down a few more times doing frogs. And now for a lovely stretch where you can take the legs out, start with the heels about in line with the sit bones and then bring them up and bring them up and bring them up and bring them up. So each person has their own range of movement, but it's a place where you can really play with the range very nicely.

So here we are taking my legs all the way down and I will share how we used to do somersaults. Ah, not for beginners, not for people with trouble with your neck. But if you had the feet in the straps, you took your legs, all the wheel, and you get your hands and you push your way through. And there you are so we have to do this and hence the ability to really move through this upper part of the neck is very useful. It is. Our bodies are designed to have a huge range of movement, but I think we'd become rather, I don't know, it's like the concept of the potential has been diminished in my personal opinion. So back to three springs running just to kind of integrate everything pressing out and here's my nice little work through my feet, getting everything to get there.

I like to sing to myself and [inaudible] pelvic lift, just lifting up, anchoring into the hips, making sure the hips feel stable and strong and rolling down and I am going to finish with something I very seldom do and I totally love called the jumping board so I will get it. And again, different jumping boards on different types of machines, different types of manufactured reformers are very, very different. This one is quite low. I'm on two springs and I am going to just start out with a very small [inaudible] stance just getting used to what's the range of movement that I can get out of my ankles. Then I'm going to add lifting up on the balls of the feet, bend and up to the balls bend and up to the balls band and now up to the balls and toes. Ooh, I haven't done this for a while. Balls, heels rolling through the whole foot and down.

Amazing how much the toes have to work and how lazy they are because we in our daily life never worked with our toes and yet they have huge potential for power and they energize the legs enormously. I can feel my legs working so hard trying to make my silly little toes get more action. This dumping board is not sitting properly and I don't know why. Normally if it's solid, which is the way it's supposed to be, you should be able to power and start jumping really high. It's fantastic for anchoring the stomach. Fantastic for anchoring the legs.

You know what? I'm going to do kissing. I can't do it, and I'm just gonna take a few jumps in, make my legs work really hard today. Oh, that felt good and roll down. Nice stretch. Roll Up. I hope you had a great time. I did have a great evening. Thank you.


Raymond Harris
Yet again Neidra, I loved your class. Your a fun teacher and always seem to be having such a wonderful time as you instruct. A joy to watch! Thank you
Niedra Gabriel
Thank you Raymond - I love your photo !
you are quite the champion, you must have been incredible when you competed.
Effective cues and positive energy! it!
Niedra Gabriel
Great Kelly - glad you liked it, I see you are a teacher trainer for Power Pilates so we both have shared back ground - i used to be a trainer for Power as well. Best of the best to you.
You are adorable and hilarious! Great class, challenging and fun. However, it would be helpful to have spring translation to balanced body reformers.
Niedra Gabriel
That is an interesting suggestion Casey - I will need to think about this, I am not as familiar with Balanced BOdy reformers and when I teach or work out on them it takes some testing on my part to figure out what tension works for me. I may just do a study and sort out details for a session .
Great class! Some new moves I haven't seen before. Wonderful energy!! Loved it!
Niedra Gabriel
That's great Michelle, enjoy.
Niedra Gabriel, as you said at the end of the class, I had a great time! empowering and stretching class. Nice balanced work! I do love it. I will repeat for sure, thank you!
Niedra Gabriel
Thank you for your post Judit, you look amazing in your photos - I looked at your website and saw it was all in spanish, and you live in the UK? I suspect there is more to you than I know.... wishing you much success in all areana's
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