Class #1348

Deep Stabilization Reformer

40 min - Class


Christi Idavoy joins Pilates Anytime as the winner of the 2013 Next Pilates Anytime Instructor Competition, and teaches a Reformer workout that flows from one exercise to the next. Her thoughtful cues help you find your center as she works on deep stabilization throughout class. Welcome Christi!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Yoga Block

About This Video

Jan 06, 2014
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We're here today with Meri and Gia and we're going to do a reformer class using a yoga block, so we'll have the yoga block to start with. The headrest is down, and we're on a red and a blue spring, or two moderate springs. So you guys can go ahead and lie down. And we'll start with the heels on the bar. And you'll float your pelvis up and place the yoga block underneath your pelvis.

And you want to make sure that it's really under the pelvis and not underneath the spine, not underneath the lower back. Yeah. That looks good. And then just make sure that the block is centered, that you feel with your hands. And if it doesn't feel like it's centered, by all means, do what you need to do to feel like the center of the sacrum is really mounted on the center of the yoga block.

And we'll just take a moment to close the eyes, and as you exhale, allow your body to settle and fall heavily into gravity. Inhaling through your nose, noticing where your body expands, and as you exhale, just go ahead and notice the weight of your pelvis on the yoga block, the weight of the rib cage and the shoulder blades, and the weight of the base of the head. And on the following inhalation, gently guide the breath into that space between your shoulder blades, and press all the way out to straight legs. We'll exhale while we're there, and press all the way out. So you really feel these long front of the hips as if we had long pockets there reaching long, and you'll want to make sure that the breastbone stays heavy on the mat.

As you inhale, go ahead and bend your knees. Exhaling, pressing right back out. So with every exhalation, we'll lengthen out, inhaling to come in. Exhaling out for two, inhaling in for two. Exhale, feeling the front of the ribs siphoning down towards the pubic bone.

And you're out for two and in for two. Last three for two and in. And with every following inhalation, guide the breath into that space between your shoulder blades, exhaling the shoulder blades and breastbone, feeling like they glide down towards the pubic bone and out through the sits bones. And the next time you come in, you'll rest and slide the toes onto the bar. Exhaling again, this time reaching the heels under the bar to press all the way out, noticing how the space will increase on the front of the hips.

Bending the knees for two and out for two. And reach the heels as you press out. Continue coming back and forth this way. Again, inhale into the space between the shoulder blades. Exhaling, melting the breastbone down through the ribs, the ribs down through the pubic bone, pubic bone reaching out through the sits bones, and now the heels.

And the next time that you press out, you'll stay all the way out here. Go ahead and allow the heels to reach under the bar just a tiny bit more. Exhale, lifting up onto the tippy toes, keeping your knees straight and repeating that. Reaching the tendons under the foot bar, continue to lift up and lower down. And it's up, and it's down.

And the next time, we'll keep our tippy toes elevated. Exhaling, float the right leg into a table top position. Bending your left knee, reach that right leg over the foot bar. Coming all the way in, and reaching out for two. And in for two.

Do two more this way on the toes. And after this next one, coming all the way in, press back out. This time, reach your right leg under the foot bar. Coming in with the left leg and pressing out through the left leg. As you exhale, again, the breastbone and the shoulder blades glide down towards the pelvis.

Last one. Keep it all the way out. We're going to reach that right leg up for the ceiling, and as we exhale, reach the right toes to the foot bar, and bring it right back up. Your left leg will stay still now and strong. Keep your right leg moving, and then let your left heel reach under that foot bar, keeping the knees straight.

Keep the right leg going. Last time. We'll reach that right leg up towards the ceiling and hold. Bending that knee will slide the toes of the right foot onto the foot bar. Reach both heels under the foot bar, exhaling the left leg into tabletop.

Bending that right knee now, reach your left leg over the foot bar and pressing right back out, noticing that the weight between the hips on the yoga block has hopefully stayed the same. And, again, the more you exhale and think about this shoulder blades and breastbone gliding down, the easier it will be to manage your hips. Reach that left leg under the bar. Reaching under and home, and out for two. We'll do two and two, and out for two.

Last one. And staying all the way out, reach the left toes for the ceiling. Exhale the straight left leg for the foot bar. And reach it up. And as your left leg is reaching, think of the toes growing long and over the foot bar as if you wanted the head of your thigh bone to reach out of its hip socket, making the pelvis maybe a little heavier on that block.

And the next time that the leg comes up, we'll hold, folding at the left knee. Reach the left tippy toes back on to the foot bar. Stay here for one last breath going into running in place. Taking one heel under, and switch, and switch, and switch. Notice there's a moment where both legs are straight.

And switch, and switch, and inhale between your shoulder blades. Exhale, melt your heart down to your toes. Last three. And switch, and switch, and two. Last one.

And rest. Bring the carriage all the way in for a moment. Exhale. Press it all the way out, a short-lived rest. We're going to take those long straps and place them on our feet now.

So be cautious as you're putting your feet into the straps if you've never done this up on the yoga block because your pelvis might shift around a little more than you would expect when you're on that block. We'll reach the legs out to the spot where we don't feel like there's very much work at all in order to hold the legs in space. We call it the sweet spot-- or at least I do-- where it feels like there isn't much effort running through the front of the thighs. Ask you exhale, start reaching the feet into the strap, and notice how your sits bones are reaching towards the horizon. So if you take a moment and just observe where your pelvis is, hopefully you're feeling that the pubic bone is still level across on the front of the hips.

The pelvis hasn't changed its orientation on the block. So we can notice that here with Gia, and I can feel around and notice that she still has her curve through her lumbar spine. As you exhale, reach the legs long and towards the foot bar. Imagine you're trying to stand on that foot bar again, and go back to that feeling of the long front of the hips. You guys can come down even a little further, right about there.

And then slowly sweep the legs back up. We'll do this three more times. And as you repeat, think about the sits bones rolling down over the edge of that block, as if they were, like, rolling over the edge of a cliff. You might appreciate a little more length through the lower back and a little more of a connection between your ribs and your pelvis. As you exhale and bring your legs up, keep the sits bones rolling down to the floor relative to the movement of the legs.

We'll do that two more times. So as the legs come down, they line up on the horizon of the pelvis where the sits bones are reaching towards that foot bar. As the legs come up, the sits bones continue to reach long on the horizon. Last time, pressing all the way down. As you exhale, continue to think about your ribs melting into the back of the mat or melting into the back of the thoracic cage.

Come back into that sweet spot area where you didn't feel too much effort to hold your legs in space. Beautiful. We'll hold it here now, and as we exhale, we're going to rotate the legs, turning the thighs out, keeping the knees very long. And then start taking the legs apart with the intention of keeping the carriage still. So you're riding the line of tension of the strap.

Take it as wide as you feel comfortable, which means you don't feel a lot of pull through the inner thigh area, nor do you feel any strain in the low back. Hold it there for a moment, and on the exhale, bring your heels in about an inch closer, and then hold it there. So we start to create this imaginary bundle of energy that runs out from the ribcage, from the back of the throat through the back of the breastbone, through the ribcage, and out the sits bones. On the following exhale, very slowly drag your heels back together as if we're rolling through molasses. As the thighs are hugging the midline, your breastbone, your shoulder blades, your ribcage, they're also wanting to join in to that midline.

Slowly take the legs back apart. We're only going to do this two more times. And on the lucky days, you start to feel a little bit of a tremor deep through the inner thighs where you might even appreciate the straps shaking. On the following exhale, hug the center in just for an inch. Hold it there for two breaths.

Inhaling, the back of the heart expands. Exhaling, we hug the center a little bit more, and it starts to move. And then we continue to bring the legs all the way back in. I feel the vibration coming from over here. Do one more of these.

Exhale. The trick is to use the least amount of effort possible. If you can just hang out in the straps and let it feel like someone else is supporting the thighs, all you're worried about is breathing and, with every breath, becoming more identified in that idea of your shoulder blades and breastbone gliding down through your feet. Exhale. Gently drag the thighs back into one another, again, as if it were just a breathing exercise, and you're just a bag of bones in space.

The next time that the heels find each other, bring the big toes together. We'll bring the legs up just a little higher and take them around for leg circles. We'll just draw three legs circles in each direction, and notice if your leg circles feel different than they usually do. Definitely one of those exercises that is a crowd pleaser. We love our leg circles.

I feel that doing them on the yoga block really helps you get into that inner thigh, very low pelvic area connection. The next time that your legs come around, go ahead and reverse the direction of your circles, brushing them out and around. And again and again, from the crown of your head out through your sits bones, you're aligned on the horizon. The leg circles are stirring in the capsule of the hips that is balanced on that yoga block. And the next time that the legs find each other, we're going to bring them back down to that sweet spot where there isn't a whole lot of effort to hold.

Turn the hips out again. Exhale, bending the knees towards frog, pressing right back out and going into short spine. So keeping the legs rolling very long and away from you as you float your legs up and over to balance on that space between your shoulder blades. So melting up and off of the block. While you're there, hold it for a moment.

Slide that block off of your Reformer so you can just put it down, and it can fall off the table. That's fine. And now as we exhale, we'll bend the knees, moving them towards the shoulder blocks, keeping some space, though, between the thigh and the body and slowly rolling the spine back down and onto the table. You can allow your heels to come with you or lengthen the legs to bring the pelvis down. Bending the knees, the pelvis will roll down, and you'll lengthen back out to that sweet spot.

Exhaling, we'll take the legs back up and over the head, rolling through the spine. Again, think about staying on that space between the shoulder blades so we don't feel any pressure in our neck. Bend the knees while you're there, heels staying together. And as we exhale, hold your feet in the place where they're at right now as you roll your spine down. As you feel that you're running out of space to roll down, allow the feet to start pressing down towards the tailbone.

Get your pelvis on the mat before your feet push back out and away from your center of gravity. Last one. Rolling the legs up and over into that space between the shoulder blades, holding it there for a moment, bending the knees. And as we do, we slowly roll the spine down one vertebrae at a time. Once your pelvis has approached the mat, hold it there for a moment.

You'll slide your hands into the straps now, and keep your legs in tabletop. Reach the fingertips towards the ceiling, and think about the collarbones becoming very broad away from one another. As you exhale, sweep the arms down along your side, and just hold them there for a moment, taking a breath while you're here. And on the following exhale, again, your breast bone and your ribs will glide down. Then you'll lift your head, neck, and shoulders up and off the mat, reaching even longer through the fingertips.

Hold it here for a moment. And as we exhale, lengthen one leg out and over the bar, and then switch. Exhale and switch. Exhale and switch. That little inhale that we sip in between the exhales, try and guide it into the space between your shoulder blades.

Try and breathe into my hands, and reach up through the crown of your head a little bit more. There we go. Growing. Last two, and switch. Last one.

And both knees will come in. The arms will float up towards the ceiling, and your neck can have a break, hopefully not really needing it. Bring the feet onto the bar. We can place our straps back onto the little spokes. You can rock from side to side.

Let the knees go from side to side. It's a great idea to tune in, especially when you add accessories like yoga blocks and try and change very familiar exercises with these props, you want to check in with yourself, and make sure that things are feeling OK before we get up and just run on to the next exercise, especially when we're introducing new things. So we'll find the center. On the exhale, go ahead and float one leg up into tabletop. Then you'll bring your head, neck, and shoulders up and off of the mat.

Bring your other leg into tabletop, grabbing behind the thighs, rolling up to sitting. Push the thighs over the foot bar. Beautiful. We'll change the spring now to one blue, and we'll grab our long box. On the long box now, we'll come up and onto our hands and knees, facing that foot bar.

So careful as you're coming up, because it is on a light spring. Hands will come onto the bar. And we want to make sure, when we look at the hands, that the heel of the hand is very much on the apex of the bar so that, when we look at our wrist, we don't have very many wrinkles. The wrists aren't sagging. Let's bring the heels of the hands just a little closer together.

So they're coming a little closer to be underneath your shoulders, and then scoot your knees up on the box so that you get your shoulders to line up right over your wrists at about a 90degree angle, as long as there's no pressure on the wrist. If there is, you might want to keep the knees back. Bring your knees back just a tiny bit. There we go. So as we inhale here, gently press that foot bar away, thinking about inhaling and growing into the space between the shoulder blades.

Exhaling, bringing yourself back over the foot bar. So with every inhalation, the breath will help expand and conserve the natural kyphotic curve of your thoracic area. And as you exhale and glide over, imagine the ribcage funneling down and out through the sits bones. Go ahead and arch your lower back just a tiny bit. Right there.

Inhaling to press back, keeping that feeling of the sits bones still reaching on the horizon the way that they did when you were lying on the yoga block. So the block helps to create a lot of awareness about where this area is in space. Now we've put it on a moving surface against gravity. There's no more feedback. So they've got to find that alignment on their own using their muscle memory.

So go ahead and keep breathing into here. Inhaling, expanding even more. There you go. Now, keep pressing back this time, letting your ears come down in line with your shoulders. So we start to take this alignment from the crown of the head to the sits bones and angle it down as we do an inverted V. As we exhale, we'll glide forward and over the foot bar, reaching the breastbone out through the crown of the head.

We'll do this two more times. And as you go over, remember to keep that space between the shoulder blades expanding like a balloon, rolling the shoulders away from the ears, which they're both doing really nicely. Keep this lifted as you come forward even more. Even more. Even more.

Look down, and lift up in here even more. There you go. Just one more. And reaching up. Beautiful.

This time, lengthen the right leg out and behind you. Now the foot becomes an extension of the sits bone, both sits bones reaching in the same direction. Think about your right inner thigh reaching for the ceiling as your right hip reaches for the floor. And that little bit of contrast is going to help keep her pelvis in a better place. Again, we're going to press back and through the arms, allowing the trunk to aim down a little bit and maybe lifting that right inner thigh to the ceiling just a bit more, and then gliding the heart over the foot bar, reaching the crown of the head away from that right foot.

Only two more on here. We'll keep that going, reaching long. As we breathe, we glide forward and back, pressing down on the heels of the hands. Imagine there's a hook lifting-- yes. There you go.

Keep lifting that up, lifting the back of the heart as you come over the foot bar at the same time. So both of these areas are reaching up, and we're going forward. Do one more. Lift the head just a tiny bit more. There we go.

Bring this hip down. That's it. Coming all the way back in and up-- they're making this look really easy. It's not that easy. Bring your right knee back down, and rest in child's pose for just a moment.

And I love to rest in child's pose, especially after these exercises that are requiring so much focus, because you can't really feel what may be overcompensating while you're at it. But when you rest, you might be able to notice. And on the following inhale, we're going to come back up and onto all fours. Bring the carriage into the end if it's a bit pressed out. And just do one where you press out on both hands with both knees on the mat, clearing the slate after having done an asymmetrical movement.

Let's do one where we're symmetrical, reaching all the way out to where it's comfortable, feeling the length from under the armpit through the heels of the hands. Exhale, and bring yourself back over the foot bar. Roll the shoulders wide and away from the ears. Inhale the back of your heart towards the ceiling as you reach your sits bones away from the crown of your head. We'll reach the left leg out and behind us now, and keep going, pressing the carriage all the way out.

Again, think about the inner thigh reaching to the ceiling as the front of the hip reaches to the floor so that that little bit of contrast happening from the lower extremity will also help her create a little more control through the core. There we go. Beautiful, you guys. And reaching long. Again, that left foot becomes the extension of the sits bone.

So from the crown of the head, create an awareness of the entire body gliding through space, pressing down through the heels of the hands to keep that shoulder and heart area lifted up to the heavens. Beautiful. And we'll just do two more of these. Lean back just a little bit more. Keep this hip travelling over the knee, right there.

And back. Awesome. Last one. Pressing all the way back, reaching long. Imagine your ribs are going to reach out through your top foot.

And then as you're coming over, push the hands down to keep those-- yes. Beautiful. We'll bring that left knee back in. And, again, take a second in child's pose. Let your lower back, wrists, and shoulders release.

And then we'll roll right back up, coming back up into a quadruped position to carefully dismount the Reformer. We'll bring our foot bar down. And then we'll lie on our tummies, facing the well, setting up for pulling straps. Again, we're on one blue spring. So the breastbone is off of the box.

And you'll pick up the straps just above the hardware where that electrical tape is. And go ahead and at let arms rest on the outside of the frame. Let your head, shoulders, and upper body drape over the back end of that box, which might feel great after the quadruped exercise they did. Take a moment here to inhale, and notice if, again, you can inhale into that part of your body which is draped over the box now. And on the following exhale, the shoulder blades will start to glide down towards the pelvis.

Then you'll start pulling the arms, sweeping the arms alongside of the body, floating the head into alignment with the spine. Slowly come back down as we inhale. Exhaling, the breath starts first. The shoulder blades glide. Then the arms pull the straps, coming into that space where you feel like you're a dart reaching the crown of the head on a target.

And then slowly coming back down. We'll do that one last time. And on this last one, we're going to hold ourselves in that position for a moment. Exhale first, shoulder second. Arms follow through and hold.

Holding it here, now inhale into that space between the shoulder blades. Imagine that there's a helium balloon inflating, helping you lift your heart into a little bit more of extension, coming up into a baby swan. Beautiful. And then as you're ready, you'll exhale and slowly come back down. So we'll reverse the breath on this one.

Inhaling to pull the straps as you glide the shoulder blades away from the ears. Coming up into that dart position where you're reaching for a bullseye, hold it, and then inhale again to lift your heart and come up a little higher. Exhale. Bring it all the way down, articulating from the lower base of the ribs, all the way up and through the crown of the head. Last time.

Inhale shoulders, and then we pull. We reach long to the dart, and we exhale. We inhale some more into the upper part of the chest, and we lift the heart, shining it forward. Beautiful extension on these ladies. Hold it here.

We're going to bend the elbows now into a tricep dip. Exhale and lengthen them back out. Let's pretend we have magnets on the inside of the elbows, and they're magnetized towards one another, as well as helping us roll the collarbones open. Last two. Reaching long through the arms-- last one-- as if the knuckles were reaching away from the crown.

And we hold it there, and then slowly bring it all the way down and release. Take a breath while you're there. If you feel any discomfort in your lower back, check in with your glutes. A lot of times, the glutes think it's show time, and it's really not their turn to shine. Allow the thighs and the glutes to feel heavy and relaxed on the box if that's possible.

On the following exhale, we're going to glide the shoulder blades away from the years. Again, floating back up into this pull strap position, where we're finding that long dart shape. Hold it there for a moment, and then we'll turn our thumbs out to the sides. Hopefully, that'll help you feel how it opens your collarbones and create that smile we often talk about on the front of the chest. On the following exhale, take the arms out into a T, only to the height of the shoulder or just under it.

And then we'll sweep the pinky side of the hand back towards the hips. And again, inhale as the arms reach out into a T. Exhale as we close and press down and long, continuously feeling like the knuckles in your hands want to reach long and away from your shoulder area so that we keep a very broad, a very proud chest. The next time that the arms come in and along the sides will be the last one, and we'll hold. It and then gently roll all the way down and out of it. Beautiful work, ladies.

You can go ahead and carefully step off of your box. And we'll place the box back where we found it. And this time, we'll change the spring setting to one red spring for kneeling arms facing back, or at least some variations of one of those exercises. So we'll come onto our knees in line with the shoulder blocks. And at first, go ahead and pick up the straps, and let's cross the straps and hold onto them above the hardware.

So we're going to crisscross them. We're holding up above the hardware. So it's kind of on the heavy side for this, possibly, depending on what you're used to. But you've got one red spring. Your straps are crossed.

Allow the straps to pull the arms off, so to speak. So it feels like your arm bones are getting tugged forward gently. And what that does is it allows you to feel the way your shoulder blades will want to spread apart on your back. As you inhale, think about growing tall through the crown of the head, like the inhalation is helping create space between the vertebrae. And on the following exhale, we'll bend the elbows out to the side as if we're rowing, pulling the thumbs towards the outside of the shoulders.

And again, we'll lengthen the arms out and ahead of us, and allow the cable to give you that little extra tug so that you can really appreciate your shoulder blades pull apart. And then as your elbows bend, your collar bones pull wide apart, and the elbows come out to the sides as if we're rowing. And we'll do that two more times. So often times, when we pull on the straps this way, we tend to pinch our shoulder blades together a bit too much. Think about keeping the width-- and it's looking beautiful from where I can see-- on the back as we're pulling the straps apart.

You might feel your triceps kick in a little bit more and these armpit muscles, the deep muscles of the underarm, helping stabilize your shoulders. Last one. Pulling the straps apart, growing tall in between the collarbones. And then we'll allow the cables to pull you forward again. Hold it here for a moment.

You're going to drop the strap that's in your left hand. We're going to put that strap down, and you can put it on the little spoke in front of you. And now allow the cable to pull your body around and towards the left side. So if you look down at yourself for a moment, you want to see your breastbone is in line with your left kneecap. Inhale into that position where you're growing long and your collarbones are staying broad.

And as you exhale now, think about the right side of your ribs pulling back as the left side of your ribs pull forward, and then your elbow will bend, following through with the ribs. As we inhale, we'll allow that cable to take us around. As we exhale, we'll pull on that cable. And keep going past there. Turn up and around.

Yeah. So the starting position, we can think about it as the breastbone being in line with the left kneecap. And the ending position, we want that breastbone to come around to the right kneecap. Beautiful. And they're doing a great job of keeping their head organized over their shoulders.

Keep going, and on the next and last two, what we're going to do is allow the eyes to finish the rotation. So now take your head a little further, and notice if it changes the way your trunk responds to that position your body's in. And then allow the arm to release and follow the line of the spring. Last one. As we reach around, growing taller through the crown of the head, holding it there for a moment, and then maybe invite your right hip to reach forward just a little bit more away from the direction your head is turned.

And then slowly releasing that strap, and we'll put that strap down on the other side, and we'll pick up the strap with the left hands now. So again, when you start, take a moment and find your body in space. Just check yourself out. Notice, does my breastbone line up over my right kneecap? Is my pelvis pretty vertical here sitting on top of both of my thigh bones?

And on your following exhalation, let the left side of your ribs start to pull back, and then your arm starts to pull on the strap. The collarbones stay wide as the elbow comes around, and you can let your head and your eyes turn up and around, finishing the rotation. The cable will inform you just on how to come back through. And again, exhaling as we twist, thinking about growing long like a spiral staircase. Inhaling at the top, and then exhaling as we roll back and around.

And you could really play with the breath. When we inhale and we spiral up and around, it might feel like we can't get as much rotation because the lungs are so full. So you might want to try a few where you're inhaling to turn, and then try another where you're exhaling to turn. And exhaling through rotation, you can create an idea of wringing yourself out, like the movement and the breath is helping to squeeze toxins out of your lungs and to give your organs a nice massage and squeeze, as well. Let's just do one more, ladies.

And as you turn on this one, let your left tip reach forward gently as you're coming up and around. Turn the eyes a little bit further, and then allow that strap to pull you back and through. We'll place both of the straps down now. And I'll go ahead and bring your foot bar back up. You guys are going to come back into quadruped, this time with the heels of the hands on the shoulder blocks, scooting the knees back and the heel of the right foot on the foot bar.

OK. So we did this when we were on the box. We're changing our relationship now to the equipment and gravity. As you exhale, straighten out that right leg. Hold it there for a moment.

Notice that your left knee is underneath your left hip. And then send a little more energy out of that right leg, reaching the bar away so that you feel like your right kneecap and the top of the back of your thigh wants to reach to the ceiling, again increasing the length through the front of that hip. As you exhale, push the shoulder blocks away to, again, help lift the space between the shoulder blades. Beautiful. We're going to keep that feeling of pressing the shoulder blocks away-- lifting up even a little bit more, Gia-- and reaching the crown of the head long.

Lift up a tiny bit more. Now, as you exhale, reach your left arm out and alongside of your head. So now it's really important that the right arm really pushes that shoulder block away. We'll bend the right knee and sweep the left arm alongside of the body. The carriage will come back.

Exhaling, straight the right leg out, and reach the left arm alongside of the head. We'll do that three more times. As you press away, imagine that the front of the hip is reaching down while the right inner thigh is reaching up. As you come home, keep the length through the front of the hip and the sits bones. Pull those ribs in just a little more.

Yep. Beautiful. I got a little more vibration over here. So it's beautiful when the nervous system starts to shake a little bit. There's some new information, some interesting fatiguing going on.

Last one. And we'll rest. We'll bring the knee down and switch sides, really, is what I mean by rest. We're almost done. It's warming up.

Just going to scoot your foot in a tiny bit right there. So another thing that's important to notice here is that we want the heel in line with the sits bone, just the way we do parallel when we're doing footwork, lying on our back, looking for the same bony landmarks in alignment here. Again, we'll press the carriage out, reaching the left leg away and reaching it into the bar. Noticing that we're inhaling, pushing the shoulder blocks away-- yes-- so that we grow in that space between the shoulder blades and out through the back of the skull. On the exhale, reach the right arm alongside of your head, and hold that position for a moment.

Bending your left knee, reach your right arm along your side. Pressing out long, reach your right arm back up alongside of your head. And we'll keep that going, only for three more repetitions. As you press out, think about the right inner thigh coming up-- sorry, the left inner thigh-- and the front of the left hip reaching down. Lift this up a little more.

Yes. Keep pushing that block away. Grow a little taller. Last one. And then bring that carriage in.

Come all the way down and into a child's pose just for a moment, letting those wrists and shoulders take a break. How are the wrists doing? Are we feeling our wrists, or not too bad? Not too bad. OK.

One last thing while we're here. So we'll come back up on the inhale. Last time, with the heels of the hands on the shoulder blocks, bringing one of the feet to the foot bar. Bring your favorite foot on the toes this time. We're going to press out and set up for control balance.

So reaching out long, exhale. Push through the arms. Lift the back of your heart up, and then bring your right foot onto the bar. We're still on one red spring, so not a whole lot of support for these very strongly ladies. With every inhale now, it becomes more important to keep pushing those blocks away.

Lift the back of your heart up a little more. Exhale. Reach the sits bones up to the ceiling, folding the body into inverted V and then pressing back out. We'll only do that one more time. Sits bones reaching away from the crown of the head the whole time.

Crown of to the head reaching away from the feet here. Now hold it. Float your right leg up into the air. Reach long through those toes. Coming back up into inverted V-- go for it-- reaching that leg up and then coming back down.

One more. Push down through the arms. Reach up. Press into my hands here. There you go.

Roll your shoulders away from your ears. That's it. And then coming back down, switch the legs. We're almost done. Reaching long through the toes, continuing to open up the front of the hips.

Push the block away. That's it. And taking it out. Last one. Reaching up and long and coming back to the bar, go ahead and bend the knees.

Bring the carriage in. Take one leg down at a time. And come up and onto standing now, coming onto the feet. The arms are ready to not be doing so much work anymore. Bring your feet together for a moment, and just let your eyes close.

And as you exhale, allow your breath to slow down so that you regain control of the breath slowly. That one will definitely speed your heart rate up. As you inhale, guiding the breath from the soles of the feet up through the back of the thighs and into the space between the shoulder blades. Exhale. Allow the shoulders to melt down, feeling like your arms are suspended from the crown of your head, inhaling from the soles of the feet up through the back of the thighs, the back of the shoulder blade area, up through the back of your head, and out through your crown.

Exhaling, allowing all of your tissues to feel like they melt and drip down to the earth suspended from the crown of the head. And on the following inhalation, we'll reach the arms up and over the head. Spread the fingers, and bring the palms together. Open your eyes, looking at your hands over your head, and then bring them down into the center of your heart, and just take a moment to thank yourself for showing up today. Thank you.


8 people like this.
Fabulous cueing and flow
4 people like this.
Nicely articulated and I like how deliberate the work was. Just a side note: with the exception of the last exercise, it felt more like a level 2 than a level 2/3.
Zeena ~ Thank you for your feedback. I'm glad to hear that you liked this class. After reviewing this class, I have decided to keep it a 2/3 because there many concepts that are advanced in addition to the last few exercises.
3 people like this.
This class looks great.. I have not done it as of yet since I usually like to view prior to doing. This is next on my list.
3 people like this.
Great transitions and cueing! The yoga block on feet in straps focused the exercise in a new way for me, and in quadruped your cue of inner thigh up and hip down was brilliant! Looking forward to more from Christi.
3 people like this.
What an honor to have Christy Idavoy at Pilates anytime!!!
as always a great class!!!
Thank you to all that voted and to everyone at Pilates Anytime. We are so blessed to have this amazing resource and it is an honor to be a part of it!
Sherri Betz
Great class Christi! The Polestar family is thrilled to have you represent us!
2 people like this.
Great class- very informative!
What are the benefits or "challenges" when adding a block under your pelvis? Stability, yes but what else??

Thank you for the great class!
3 people like this.
Beautiful class, beautiful flow, and beautiful that more of the Pilates community gets to experience your skilled teaching. Congratulations and great job, my friend! You are a natural on camera!
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