Hi everyone. I'm here to teach a mat class today, uh, with a little extra edition, which is the sitting box. And I'll explain why in just a minute. You don't have to have a box. However, to do this class, you can do it completely just as a regular standalone mat class. But why I brought the box in and we'll, what I'll be doing with the box and some of the exercises is, and I'm really speaking to those of you at home who might be, um, maybe not yet in a reformer class thinking about doing a reformer class at a studio or here, um, if you have one. But also some of you who might be beginning level students on your way to intermediate and, or anybody who just wants a little variety. But I'm using the block, uh, boxes, kind of a building block system for learning.
A few exercises that usually take place on the reformer, on the box, some pulling straps and teasers, um, and or this box as maybe the foot bar where your hands are feet will go. And I've done this with myself and I've done this with clients. And students before. Well I've, I can feel that they're inhibited or a little bit apprehensive about their sense of balance up on the reformer on a moving surface, doing an exercise. So, and I was one of those people a long time ago with teaser. So I took the box off the reformer, I put it on the floor and I learned it and practice the exercise down on the ground. But on the prop I felt more confident. I thought, okay, I can learn this skill down here. And then felt really brave one day, put it back up in the reformer and had a little more success with it. And kind of that feeling of I can do this. So I want you to feel that.
And it might even just provide a little extra challenge for you in some of your postures and positions because you're up off the ground if you're just adding this maybe to regular mat class. So the box will be, like I said, it's going to be certain exercises where my feet will be on it or hands will be more relevant to the foot bar. And I'll talk about that when we get there. So have a little fun. Let me know how you do with that and take it a few times and see if it helps you with some of your reformer exercises. All right, so let's get started in. Um, if you want to box, you can always order one online. We can help you with that. Then again, you don't have to have a box. All right, so we'll get started.
I'm going to have a stand about a foot distance away from the box or if you're just on your mat, just stand at the end. Let's take about three deep breaths just to get centered slightly. Shifting your weight to the front of your feet, less on your heels. Nice deep breath. Just feeling yourself kind of rooting from the floor up. Not Tense or strained. Nice sense of length.
Take a deep breath in through your nose. We'll do an easy roll down, head, neck and chest. Right about now I'm going to just soften those knee joints so that I don't lock them your round down and just feel that nice sense of stretch in my spine, my hips, and my lower back. Deep breath pulling those abdominals up away from the feet away from the floor. We'll start to restack or re lengthen up into your [inaudible] standing tall position. Let's do to twice more. So this is your chance to start tuning into your body, healing how you're moving. They have some fun things planned.
There's a few challenging exercises. My knees are straight. I feel like I can do that now. Keep them Ben too. If you need to. Aly, lift those stomach muscles long all the way up the front, the sides, even your lower back tall. Let's go one more. We're going to add onto it this time. So just want you to put your hands right on the edge of the box or on the floor if you're going there and not a whole lot of weight in your arms, but some just organize your shoulders and then I want us to do 10 lifts of our heels. But again, this is all so just more lift from the stomach. So I'm actually really thinking stomach first, heels second, trying to get my tailbone angled toward my feet or my heels specifically and occur in my spine.
Maybe not such a big curve in my mid back, but more in my low back. Let's do three more, just feeling your body here and two last one. We're going to stay lifted and take a little walk in place. Just one heel and one heel. And as you're doing these alternating foot movements, continue to pull the energy up into those abdominal muscles.
Relax the head or drop it down. Get a sense. Your whole back is broad, little faster for ten nine, eight, seven, six, five. Not Shifting those hips from side to side, but rather they're just going straight ahead and then soften. Bend those knees and roll all the way up. All right, so let's go ahead and have a seat on our box or on the floor. And for this first part I have my heels pulled deeply, firmly right up against the box. If you're on the floor, I want you just to keep your feet flat and just hook your hands underneath your knees and pull yourself up tall. And I'm going to do that here and those of us that are on the box and let's just do that with our arms. Reaching out to the side.
Two more deep breaths right now. Lift your ribs up for everybody away from your pelvis, getting that sense of height and abdominal and lower back working together. Another breath and we're going to do sue. Easy pelvic curl, taking the hips and the pelvis back away from the thighs. Inhale up on top of the sitting bones and exhale. Let's do four of these. Once you get, I'm trying not to really move my mid back as much as trying to move my lower back and sit tall and exhale and hold this one.
So I still have my heels pulled in toward the box, deepening the abdominal contraction. I'm going to have now started to go a little bit further. So now I'm way back off the back of the sit bones. I'm going to just open, close the arms and roll back up three more times. Breathe in and exhale. Just pause in this position. See if you can stabilize the abdominals.
Hard to do what you're talking and or Olaf sitting tall. Two more. Really trying to center my work at the beginning of this class right in here. Powerhouse. I rarely say that. Que, I'm not from this school, but I respect it and understand what they're getting at, what it's meant to be.
And this is opening up our chest. Everybody. Nothing fancy. Allow your shoulder blades to move. Getting awareness now in your upper body and three and two and one. Alright, so we're gonna move on on the box. If you're here, I'm going to move us forward. Now I've got about six inches, maybe from the edge of the box back to my pelvis. Nice deep breath. We're going to keep going into abdominal work, so let's go ahead and take ourselves all the way down. Knee in, knee in.
I'm going to take us right up into the 100 so, so already more challenging my core body because I'm not on the floor. If I put my head down, I'm okay with letting my head go backward. But you can see this is going to help build strength. So when I'm up on the apparatus, I can already have a little extra deck can work with here.
Inhale, push. Exhale, pull eight times. Seeing if you can keep that stamina. Increase your endurance with your chest. Lift position
Open up the arms and then chest again. The same eight pulses. Hopefully it can go a little wider. Two, three, four without thrusting the rib cage. And six and seven. Eight I'm gonna be wait my arms forward and just you four rotations opening. Why both arms are extended and reaching.
I have a nice press together and center, so I want to generate a little bit of awareness around my whole torso, not just my abdominals. So you're going to see me do some transitions sitting up like this center. Yeah. Now we're going to go back down for the series of five, so feel free to move your hips forward. Rock on back, those knees in. Okay, so I'm going to place the hands on this shin. Press down. Elbows are up and I'm pull, pull, change, pull, pull, change.
Lay right leg up. Let's point the feet for eight and then we'll flex freight. We have our pool pool. Pool Pool. So now your leg don't want you to go any lower than that box edge. If you're on the floor, of course you're hovered right above the floor. Seven, eight, flex the feet.
It feels a little different in your calves and the hamstrings. Pull. Pull this heels reaching out, reaching out. Last when he double straight leg, lower lift. Let's take it down in three. One, two, three up. Hold two more. Down. Two, three up. Hold. Keep your chest steady. Two, three up. Hold Chris. Cross hole two, three and no weight on that. Shoulder blades. Get up off that shoulder to west to three. Twist to one more each side, two, three, and twist two, three. And up we go. Like I said, a little more rotation this time. Arms are going to come up.
New, some large circles. Keep the flow, keeps them heat going through your Bonnie ring. Going to do those four rotations again. Inhale and exhale to the left. Squeeze through your waist. Two arms are reaching in both directions and twist two and three and west. Go a little further. Go a little further. Last one, and twist that good old image of wringing out a wet rag right in through your center. Okay, so that's kind of a warmup really.
We're going into the prone stomach down work. So if we were on the reformer or someday if you're going to approach a reformer, you're going to do something called pulling straps. You're up on a box, you're on the reformer, but I don't have a strap. I don't have any gadgets to pull on, so we're going to mock it or pretend, but I want you to really get the idea of where the movement starts without any distraction of cables and ropes and hooks and police, or that you're not moving on their machine. Okay? So reach your arms out. I'm right at the edge of my chest on the edge of the box. I'm going to let my head come down just a little bit and in my legs are engaged but not tense. My stomach still has all that blood in it, so it's pretty warm.
And I take a full breath and I want to start reaching through my head, my sternum, and just allow my arms to come behind and up above my back. But not too far. If you can keep your arms close to your body to feel the relationship of your inner upper arm to your back. Okay? And then as you come down, your arms are engaged with energy. You're just reaching forward. Pretend you're holding a rope.
So clasp your hand lightly initiate by sliding the shoulders away from head had reaching away from shoulders. And as you're rising through your chest, see if you can hold that energy in her arm to your upper back. Imagine holding on some rope and you're going to reach those fists back to your feet. Feel strong in your arms. Okay, just one more time. So all the way down and reach. Let's do a full breath. So when you get this on the reformer, you're actually pulling against a spring so you can make your muscles do that right now, even without having to be pulling a spring. All right, let's stay here. Everyone turn your arms to your palms. Face down. We're going into two pulling straps too.
I want you to lower your chest just a little bit without smashing yourself. Open your arms wide like an airplane set of airplane wings and your arms are going to travel again towards your back, possibly a little higher than your back. Same squeeze inner arm to upper back and open. Let's take an inhale and exhale, squeeze. Feel that relationship. Let's do two or three more. I'm going to have this actually go to five. So three more. Make that fist.
Pretend you're holding a rope or a strap, pull your upper arm to your back. It's up to you. If you want to rise your chest up, you can. You don't have to. It's almost more about the arms relating to the back rather than having a lift that back itself. All right, one more time and moving the arms. So you should be feeling your back muscles quite a bit. I'm hoping open your arms out, lower your arms down and everyone take a little rest if it feels okay for your neck, lower your head down.
If you've never done that on the reformer, I can give you a little heads up. Sometimes there's just three to five reps. You might say, why? Well, quality over quantity, so you're building that here. You don't even have to have that really to get the exercise, but okay, let's move on and do a single arm reach are kind of a preparation for something called swimming or breaststroke. Later on the long box hands here, I want to take one arm and reach it alongside my ear forward and then bring it back. Let's do the other arm, like you're kind of sliding your hand across a table. If you're relying flat or if this box was a continuation. I'm going to slide all the way up and in hoping to feel very steady.
Your torso in the box that you're not rolling side to side. One more single armory and reach no both arms just twice. Reach back in. Exhale, reach and back in. And I want you to take a little break, lower your head, your chest, relax your back. You can shake your hips a little bit.
So we're going to add something here. Doing a little bit of a circular motion of your arms. Technically you could be facing the other way, but we'll do it right here. Right now. Three times. Take a breath. Both arms will reach forward as they just did.
Keep your palms facing the floor. Open wide out to those airplane wings. Continue your arms coming back alongside your body. You should notice that your pinky finger is near your thigh. Now you bend your elbows in the hands. Just come right back where they started to more exhale, reach, inhale, open. All the way you could rise your chest a little higher, higher, higher, bend your elbows to rest once more.
Reach. Hopefully you're feeling your back muscles right. Your back muscles is quite a bit for that part of your body and everybody come down. Okay, let's come on to our hands and knees on the box and just make a nice easy cat shape.
Okay, so we're going to move into a little bit of lateral work or side work. I'll face you if you're on the floor, if you're not in the box, I would simply just come down onto your elbow on the floor, maybe in this setup that you would see in a mat class. Okay? But those of us up on the box, if you're going to try this, it's not like we would make it set up for site overs. So I have one knee bent, my foot near the front corner, opposite leg out to the side. And I want you to come down into that elbow lightly and this arm out on a diagonal here. All right? So it may not look like not much is going on, but what you want to learn and once you get this up on the reformer, um, when you don't have anything to hold onto except a fuzzy at your ankle, it's a lot of work in your oblique muscles all the way around your center. So this is a great way to prepare for that.
It maybe freak you out less when you get up on the reformer. So I'm on this elbow, I'm going to start to lighten my, my elbow weight. That makes sense and reach this arm a lot. So if I reach and I lift this side up and I come off of that elbow a little bit, I can make a shape, maybe that looks like a diagonal and come back, reach and return. And I'm reaching quite a lot with my upper arm and initiating and really lifting quite a bit from my underneath side. I'm going to do one or two more. We're going to add to a little extra layers on this. Here they are.
So here we go. We're going to hold. Now I'm going to take my whole torso and try to exhale root twists. Inhale. Retwist. Exhale, twist. So if I could, it would be really for my low back to my head, but not my pelvis, not my hips. Kind of whittling our waistline away. One more.
Just plain. Okay, keep the twist there. Now I'm going to add a leg lift.
So I'm gonna come all the way up and just simply turn around, put the foot up on the box. Bent knee, outside leg. Nice and long. Come down lightly on your elbow. Extend your top arm. Take a moment to unweight yourself from your elbow. Reach with this top arm. And maybe there's enough reach that it just picks you right up into the diagonal and lower exhale in. Now when you eventually do this on the reformer, your foot won't be sliding.
You'll actually be pulling it up into a an ankle strap. But for now it's okay that there's a little referred movement. I'm going to do one more. I'm staying up for the rotation thinking for my low back, rotating through my chest, neck and head, trying to keep my pelvis right where it is. Whittling the waist. Last one plain like that. Adding the leg for five go deep in those abdominals to help bring your leg up off the floor.
You won't do this on the reformer. Well you could last two depending on your teacher and then coming down, lifting the leg for eight. It's in parallel six. This bottom sign is still active though. Cause what if all the sudden you had to come up and balance, you want to be there.
Ready with that side body last one and let's come on up. Okay, so we're going to do some teasers and this was one of those exercises that I would recommend if you're feeling unsteady up on the reformer. If you're learning it, get it off the all three form or put it on the floor and practice it and see how you do. We're going to pre pretending that we have the straps in our hands and doing this scooping work. Okay? But we won't be, you'll will be with your muscles, but I want you to come down now given your teachers to, some people may ask you to be right on the edge with your tailbone. Some might be saying with your shoulder blades at the back of your box.
For the purposes of today, what we're doing, make yourself at home. Feel good up on the box. Okay. Extend your legs. Palladio's V let's take our arms back alongside the ears. We're rolling it for teaser one more like the Mat teaser where the hands overhead and just hold pulling the stomach back away from your toes. So I'm going to now pretend I'm on the reformer holding my straps. Here I am.
I've got energy reaching forward, abdominal muscles, pulling back leg energy forward. If you're on the regular mat, do this with me. We're going to open our arms out wide. Inhale, let's curl up everybody. Pull those arms in. Use the relationship of your arms to your back, to your stomach and roll back down. Bend your knees if you need to. And one more time. Work that articulation on a solid surface, not on a moving surface.
May feel easier scoops.
The other couple teasers on that we would do on mat like teaser two and three. You can add that. All right, we're going to do a little grasshopper, so this particular boxes got a square edge. Some of you might have a curved edge. Feel free to put a little padding here if you'd want or if it hurts. You're going to feel some tenderness maybe around your pubic bone and hips.
You can also do it on the floor, but eventually as you're on the reformer, you get way out here, right on the edge. It's kind of Nice to learn this on this without being up on the moving thing. Hands it beyond the wood platform or your foot bar. Okay? Now I want you to lower yourself by doing a little tricep dip, but I'm not resting. Integrate your arms. Feel that relationship of those muscles to your back.
Now I'm going to start to lift my legs, but they're being lifted by contracting through hamstrings and glutes. I want to bend my knees, lift the legs, extend them, beat the heels three times as you rise your chest. One, two, three. Body goes down, legs come up, legs. Push the chest down then and kick up. One, two, three. Then to do that three more times, get the legs going. First. Lift the legs, lift the legs, lift the legs.
Then go up and out. One, two, three, two more. Up and out. And one, two, three. Last one up. Then an open and one, two, and three. Stu, eight more little pushups to try to get those elbows down. Four, five, six, seven. When you go into double leg, kick one of the mat exercises. So back up just on the edge again, hands around in the small of the back. The reason why I want to do this as just a field, get it in more into the back of the legs and into the back and shoulders.
So three kicks, one, two, three, stretch, lift and one, two, three. Stretch and lift. One more. Each side. One, two, three. Stretch and lift. Raising your arms up. One, two, three and lift. All right, coming into more flection of the spine. Put yourself right in the back edge.
Extend your legs if you're on the floor. I've done this before in irregular mat class. Make some fists. Put those best right here between your legs. Open up your chest and simply lean into your arms so you feel some of your body weight go into your arms and your shoulders. But then try to push the floor down and lift your booty up. Okay, so on the uh, I'm kinda showing what you would on the floor, okay. If you can, as you get your bottom up, try to curl your tail under. Alright, now here we are. Up in the box.
Flex your feet, palms are up. Slice your elbows in towards you. Once again, relationship upper arm to back stomach is then squeeze your box. Everybody slightly turn your legs in just a little bit. So as you scoop your belly, squeeze the box, reach, point your toes and open and circle those arms three times. Try to see curve three and sit two more times and see curve c curve.
I'm squeezing the buck, trying to keep my butt up and down. One more time and scoop and scoop and scoop. And all the way in hand, pause and later as you, some of you know, if you don't, you're using handles. So once again, it's a little unsteady. So learn it on something less wobbly before you get up. It's kind of Nice. All right, we're going to move into some planking, more pushups, more arms.
And this is at the point where I'm going to say this is a foot bar now in your mind. Okay, so kind of pretending it's the foot bar and I want you to just to flat back, put your hands down in the corners. Step back into long stretch on the reformer. We have that exercise known as long stretch. It's a plank line. And just hold this. Do three pushups, everybody. Elbows go narrow, push.
Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Okay. Aside plank, put that hand in the middle of the box and pivot your feet. And for right now, just raise your top arm when eventually you're on the reformer. Your hand is rounded over around cylindrical bar. This is actually a little easier cause you have a flat hand surface. Okay? Take this top arm, pick a breath. It's gonna sweep forward of you toward the other hand, but you're going to lift your inside belly inside hip and pull that hit back and round your spine. I'll pause here for a minute.
What if you could pull the floor towards your hands on the reformer? You'd maybe be able to pull that reformer in towards your foot bar and then untwist as you take your breath in. Okay, a lot. Exhale, lift your inside hip and belly. Rotate on the rotation. Imagine you're pulling the floorboard towards your hands or the reformer carriage towards foot bar and open up. Three more. Inhale, open. Exhale, lift and twist.
Meanwhile, the other arm is solid. You're pushing the box down. Inhale, open once again, and we'll get off that wrist twist. Yeah.
Build those up or our muscles though. For these advanced exercises on the reformer hand in the middle, pivot top, arm up. You've been in this diagonal before in that side over business, so we've kind of prepped for it. Now I'm going to sweep this arm, lift that inside, waist and hip and twist. Hold. Imagine you're pulling the floor towards your hands, feeling those obliques. Inhale and open one again, slowly exhale, pool. You're spiraling. Twist. It looks a little like twist on the regular mat. Inhale here. Three more.
Inhale, open face, continuous rotation,
So what I'm going to do now, stand off the mat and once again that edge is the foot bar and I'm going to be working in some splits, okay? Or front splits. Back splits. So let's London down for a second. And if we were on the reformer, this is our foot bar, you could see this two different ways. You could see it turned out with the back foot or parallel and that foot against the shoulder rest. I'm going to go there right now today and I want to go on the ball of my foot. All right, now squaring the pelvis, start to lift your chest.
You could absolutely stay here. You could come up on here with your hands on your knee or you can lift your chest. You get a little bit more vertical. Upper Body. I'm going to stay there and open my arms. Okay, so this is going to be about this thigh press
Their heel is up off the ground and in quite a bit of balance. Challenge two more times if you're unsteady, but the foot flat, practice the movement. Remember this eventually goes up on the machine. On the apparatus. Okay. Lower yourself down for a moment. Come back up. What I like to do now, if you go back to that straight leg
Turned out at your hips and just bend. Okay. Just spending kind of shifts some weight just to kind of ease around your hip joints. Now I'm going to face away if I run the reformer this but would be back up on the foot bar turned out or parallel. Let's go parallel again today. Front foot would be forward up on the head rest and then want you to start down with your hands on your knee. Okay. Or shoulder rests if that's where those would go. So here we are, start to rise strong back leg, arms out to the side. You'd be moving the reformer forward and back with this leg.
But you can't do that here because we're on the ground. But what we can do is take our body down, lift, place the foot, and start to practice what it is to have your body moving over this front bending leg. We're doing this five times, takes a fairly steady ankle and these friend and back splits on the reformer are quite a bit about the stability of your foot, your knee, and your balance.
Back foot is parallel. You're up on your heel. Hands down for a moment, squaring the hips, lift that stomach. Try to get a nice extended spine first. Feel calm. This balance work. You need some centering. I've got the ocean waves to tune into here. Fascinating.
Push away bend. Use Your visual system, being your eyes and stare at something as you practice any kind of balance work initially so that that system is very tuned and stable. And I'll come in handy when you're on the reformer eventually or on the chair to who? Boy, that chair. Alright, let's take ourself into a little upper back bend, stand hole, feeling good on that ball foot back there and then I'm going to come down again. Straighten that front knee. Now you can take your back foot flat or rise. Either way was eventually on the reformer.
They're big splits so you get a practice that there came a little turnout. Just spend into your hips and just shift a little bit and then we're facing away from the box. We're almost done. We've got this set and then two yummy stretches to do. Okay, so you're in parallel. Back leg is straight, front knee is bent knee might be slightly forward of your ankle. Most likely it will be and down we go lightly touch the floor, lift the leg really is working stability of your front ankle, strong back leg as you rise with a chest five times. So that was our third four anchoring into that first and second toe and five coming up. Oh boy, my leg is shaking. That's good. Okay, so two stretches. These are just for fun. Okay.
You may see those on the reformer somewhere. So I'm going to do an outer hip stretch, putting my leg up on the box. Knee down on the mat. Hips are square and I'm just going to come forward. [inaudible] you could do this on the floor just as easily and if so you may want to stretch that back leg. But for me on the box, I really want that back leg to be relaxed so that the focus can be all around this hip.
I'm going to turn around here. I'm going to put my knee right by the box. Shin Vertical Ish. This one down in that lunging position. And I will guarantee you I'm about to sing an operatic song because this is quite intense for the kid here. This large muscle on the leg. Um, I want everyone, myself included, have more freedom in that muscle and it's working.
The hip joint help pulls against the lower back and the knees. It's a really long, strong muscle. So I'm moving with it. I'm now going to settle. If you have it in your flexibility to go into a little bit of a post to your tilt of your pelvis or pulling your pelvic bones back, advancing your pubic bone forward. I'm surprised I haven't broken out in song. Um, whistling my nails.
It's a pretty big stretch.
Go on a little posterior tilt if you can to encourage everyone to try this class a couple times if you want, or just certain elements of it. Um, kind of see some way that ways I broke it down for you. If you have questions, please let me know. I'm, I love teaching, I love helping. So if I can help you understand how to do something a little more efficiently and successfully, that's what I want to do. So let me know and go grab some water. I think I'm going to do that and I'll see you next time. Thanks.