Class #247

BASI Wunda Chair Flow

25 min - Class


A short workout that references Rael Isacowitz' Pilates Wunda Chair - Double Feature DVD encompassing a basic Warm up, Foot Work, Backward Step down, and Standing Pike with some additional balance challenges included for fun. The class moves on with Torso Press Sit(TPS) and TPS with a Twist, Side Stretch, and Basic Swan. Feel good about moving through all the ranges of motions required to maintain a healthy spine.
What You'll Need: Wunda Chair

About This Video

Aug 30, 2010
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Okay. So we're going to do a one two chair workout today and the whole first section of it. And probably throughout the class you're going to see a big influence from rail. I Soco, it's my master teacher. I'm founder of Bassey Valadez. Um, and you can find the first section at least on his [inaudible] one to chair DVD. Um, so what I have here is I'm using a balanced body Combo chair light spring.

That means I have one of the black springs chosen and it's down on, if the tree starts at, there's four options on the tree, I have it down on the third. Okay. And that's just what's light for me knowing where I'm headed. So come on down onto your mat and lie down. Getting ready to just wake up the body a little bit. So as I start here with my feet on the wood platform, I'm looking for my neutral spine. That means I'm not rolling into the mat. I'm level spread out your upper back, take your feet and place them up on the bar so that the back of the heel is on the pedal. Okay? There's no exact place to do it.

What I want you to do is start to tap into your hamstrings. So applying just a little pressure down on that foot bar. We're going to draw the bar halfway down on an exhale. Inhale, bring it back up and just trying to engage the hamstrings a little bit without deviating the pelvis, so it's not meant to be heavy. It's meant to be controlled. Exhale down. Inhale up and noticing that when you engage the hamstrings and subtly through the glutes, you end up anchoring the pelvis a little bit more, which is going to be really helpful when we head into our abdominal work, which is it? Just a moment. So let's just do a couple more here.

Let's press four. Inhale up and press three up and two. My feet are about sitz bones, distance apart, and there we go. Keeping it up for the moment. From here, taking inhale, exhale. Draw the bar all the way down to the ground and then adjust your feet.

So it just feels like the middle of the bar is in the middle of your foot. So my arches are on. I'm gently kind of reaching my balls of the feet toward the wood in front of me and the heels down, so I'm hugging that bar. It's a pelvic curl. Inhale on the exhale. Roll the low back into the mat. As you peel the hips up, drawing the hips toward the heels or toward the knees. As you stretch out the front of your body, waking up the hamstrings even more.

Inhale and from there, exhale, melting your way back down, massaging the spine into the mat and inhale. Just leave the bar on the ground. Find neutral though. You got to pass through that every time. Exhale, hollowing the ABS. Rolling a piece by piece. If you find yourself gripping at the feet, try are lots of a little, but they also don't get to roll out looking for the stretch. A lot of glute there. Inhale, exhale. We bring it back down.

Finding each bone. Inhale and exhale. Rolling it back up, so I'll let that bar jump at the bottom. Keep it pinned to the ground. Ian, hair and Xcel, we rolled out. Oh swaying last one. Inhale and exhale. We want to feel the hamstrings. Fine to feel the glutes. Just a little bit in here. In fact, right here, you absolutely should, and down we go. All right folks, let the bar come.

Halfway up, halfway up, and I'm going to tell you what, let's go back to the back of the heels again. So you've just maintaining the bar, somewhat down your neutral pelvis, hands behind your head for the chest lift, we inhale. Exhale, maintaining the stillness of the bar, the hamstring contraction. Roll yourself up into that chest lift. Inhale, hold and XL. Stretch yourself back out onto the mat. Inhale, keep the bar still and exhale, curling it up. Keeping that neutral curl high enough that your low back is fully into the mat.

Inhale, hold it there and XL. Lengthen it back down and inhale. Exhale. Imagine lengthening your body just prior to curling the upper body up, holding it there. Inhale and down. It is. Inhale, never quite releasing. So even at the bottom, go, come on up even at the bottom or when it looks as though we're still, we're not. We're working. Inhale and take it back down one more time and actually we're just adding on.

Inhale, exhale, rolling up. Make sure that low back gets into the mat. From here we inhale, we're adding a rotation toward the front window here. Exhale and rotate. One, keep your height as you come through the middle and opposite side too. Maintaining the hamstring and exhale. Inhale. As you roll across an exhale, as you're glancing at your hips, notice how still they are.

It's tempting to kind of shift, but we can't let that happen. It's all about anchoring the low end of the body so we can move the upper end. One more time. Come back to the center. Inhale and exhale. We'll take the upper body down. We'll allow the legs to travel up, stretch the legs out so for the moment they're resting, the back of the ankles are resting on the bar. From here, the arms come down by your side.

With preparing for sort of a version of the hundred, if you will. At the moment I have my legs turned out and I'm contracting in the glutes a little bit. Otherwise my legs are pretty soft. Goes like this. Leave the legs resting. Inhale, exhale. Roll your head, neck and shoulders up as if you were going to be doing the a hundred cause. In fact, you are keeping the arms still. We're going to inhale on the exhale. Take your right leg, let it float off the ground as you pin the low back. One, two, three, four, five. Inhale down, two, three, four, five.

Same leg up two, three, four, five and down. Two, three, four, five. Again, same leg, three, four, five and down. Switching legs for three left leg up, two, three, four, five and down. Back is absolutely still in two, three, four, five and down. One more time. Lift two, three, four, five and down. Don't either alternate the last four or pick both legs up. Two, three, four, five and down. Squeeze the glutes and the exhale. Two, three, four, five and inhale. Last two up, two, three, four, five. Stay strong. Doesn't have to be a big range. And up to three, four, five. Draw the knees in. Hug them to your chest, a little something to play with. And with that, we're going to set the feet down right and said that would curl your head, neck and shoulders up and roll up. So you're seated.

Now we're going into spine stretch while we're here. Again, you've got the lightweight, so we'll just leave that right up on the sitz bones, straddling your chair. Flex your feet and let's make it so the foot bar is just a little bit of a reach away, a little bit of a lean, and we can always adjust. I've got the heel of my hand on the shoulders are plugged into the back. It's an inhale squeeze through the inner thigh. Exhale as we press the abdominals up against the spine to curve or flex the spy.

Inhale to restack. I'm going to back up just a tiniest bit. Give myself some room. Inhale on the exhale, you're going to engage the lats a little more. You engage the abdominals a little more as you blow out all your air, aiming to get the bar close to the ground. Inhale to lengthen back up. Full extension and exhale so it's not meant to be an arm thing. It could easily turn into an arm thing. If so, you've got to go lighter, rather make it their arms are just where they are and it's because the spine is flexing that the bar is moving it all.

Inhaling up and exhale. Oh, I love it. Inhaling to raise up and breathe tall. Exhale. [inaudible] I'm trying to avoid just rolling back away from the hips rather. Keep that subtle lean forward and then add in the flection, keeping the shoulders of course away from the ears, giving ourselves one more and here it is and all the way from here we're just going to collect ourselves and stand up to do some foot and leg work. Okay, so come on up.

We're going to change the springs to make it a little bit heavier for foot and leg work. I'm going to take, I'm putting two springs on one all the way up at the top. So I've got one black spring at the top and for me today, I'm putting one on the second one down. So I've got two springs on, one on top, one on the second. Come have a seat onto your chair. Sitting somewhat near the front edge. Placing the heels on the bar in parallel about sits bones distance. All right and find your sits bones sitting tall.

For the first one we'll just take the fingers to the back, anchoring ourselves, making sure this is inappropriate. Wait for today. Inhale, find your power center and exhale as you press down on one and lift up and press two and though it is very much a leg exercise, I'm just adjusting here. You want to feel that the back extensors and the abdominals are working in unison or co contracting so that you are still, let's just do two more. Here's one and two. Hold the bar partway down. Moving the feet back to the balls of the feet, lifting the heels. Not As high as you can, but somewhere in between where it's a little harder to hold.

From there we're going to take the arms directly to the side, palms up, back along in it goes. Exhale, press hole one and breast too. [inaudible] using the breath, I tend to exhale as I push [inaudible]. Next one bring the bar up and I'll I were doing is switching to the small v or the Pilati stance. Let's take the arms behind the head. Lace the fingers, activate the upper back muscles and we go Perris. As you're pressing down, you're gently guiding your upper back long. We're finding the opposition there. One more.

That'll do. Bring the bar up. We can just change to the heels wide, so right out near the edge. Feet comfortably flexed. We're going back to the arms beside position with a little change here. It was slowing down a bit. As you press the bar, rotate the upper body one way. Inhale back to center. Exhale the other way. You may or may not get your feet all the way down. It has a little to do with where you're seated.

There's a little to do with your leg length and it doesn't have a lot to do with why we're doing the exercise. Said don't worry about it and just worry about the control. Extending your energies. By the way, as you're rotating, you're keeping your hips square so they don't get to move. Only one more Wella back to center. And we go to the balls of the feet wide in this open view.

Wide stance from here, arms are straight up or any one of the versions we've already done. We go down and pull up extending your energies. Give yourself two more. Here they'd come, number one. And finally number two. Woo. Alright, it's supposed to be a little hard there. So I hope it was and I hope you're absolutely controlled.

I'm lightening my spring. I'm taking down the top one, one notch. So all I'm doing is picking up the foot bar a little bit. Hopefully I'll come on baby and lowering it to the one just below it to place the left heel on. Just outside of my hip. So if I were on the foot bar, I've got it straight out of the hip, not in the center. Okay, that matters. All right. And here we go. Finding yourself tall, take it to the left leg is on, right leg is off. Either just leave the leg bent. That might be most appropriate. Or if you can extend it out without changing your back. Do.

And I'm going to go arms wide again cause that's where I'm thinking of what I've got to move forward. Give yourself range one and two stillness. It's a real common thing to pop that hip forward. Don't let it happen. And change legs lifting the other one up, pulling the well, just thinking a little tall through the back. Really extend the other leg if you're going to, and we press one and lift too. Yeah, and six and tall and seven. Hang on eight.

Don't let those straight like lower Fiore's and if you're using it, that's enough of those. Go to the toe on the first leg. I started with my left. I'm doing that again. Here we go. Just to six one and press $2 three and four and five. One more for six. Change Legs and press hole one and two. Three stay tall for five. And finally, thank goodness six bring it down. All right, coming off the chair.

Just turn yourself around and hmm, I'm gonna knock it out right now. I'm just going to move my little sticky mat out of my way. You may decide to keep one there. I'm going to keep this nice heavyweight and be friendly with myself and step on the bar from here. So I've got both feet on taking the right leg forward. Again, straight out of my hip, it's not in the center.

I'm going to allow myself to come forward enough that I can lift the hip up. So that is the level with the knee. All right, from here you either can balance with your fingertips totally fine, so long as you don't round and relax on your leg otherwise, and I think you can challenge yourself form of reform. We go, nothing moves. Your hips are square, you just allow the pedal to come up and down. Let's go three and you want the full extension of that back leg five and six and seven control for eight nine hold 10 and come on down switching legs. So if you, if you decide to ever do this workout again, you can play with the spring tension there, right?

To lighten it up a little bit. It wouldn't challenge you. All right, you've got the heel on the top of the chair that matters. Let yourself float up until you feel the hips are level with the knee. Maintain your balance with your hands if you prefer. Otherwise you come into basically a flat back and we press one view over the gluten, the hamstring meet on that extension. Otherwise stillness, the body does not rise and lower and go three more, two more, one more and squeeze.

Hold everything engaged and come on down. Stepping off the chair, carefully lift the bar up. I'm just going to walk around and lighten it up even more. A lot more, I should say, taking it down to one spring. So I've just taken one off and now I have one spring on from the second notch down. Everyone's going to be really different on this stuff. So I want it light cause I want to challenge my balance and I want to work for the abdominals. And I suspect you do too. This is um, one of the hamstring stretches or a standing pike and it goes like this.

You can do a roll down to get your hands on the bar. Inhale, exhale. You round over right away drawing the adds in. Find the bar with your hands wide, relatively wide. I'm going to say to the edge of the black, really plugged the shoulders on. Now we're going to inhale and press the bar to the ground via contracting the abdominals or flexing the spine all the way down. That was your inhale.

Exhale and bring it almost all the way back up. Inhale, press. So like earlier, it isn't an arm situation, right? I could push the bar all day with just my arms, but instead we're using the abdominals. So starting again. Inhale. As you press down, folding in half XL, scoop the belly. There's a subtle sense of me pressing my hips toward my face, my face toward my hips, and exhale up and inhale down. Exhaling. [inaudible].

Inhaling down. Don't let the shoulders get in front of you. Let them slide. If you can go all the way to the ground. If it's your hamstrings are too tight, you can always put a block in between the pedal and the floor. If you can go all the way. Here we are. We inhale, listen up, squeeze to the abdominals, and a little glitz. You're gonna exhale. Keep the bar pinned to the ground. As you float the heels up, folding deeper into the belly. Don't lean forward. Inhale, peel the heels back down are really, it's the spine, isn't it? And XL. Floater. Okay.

You'll find that in order to keep your balance, you've really got to dig deep in the belly and inhale to, Huh, and exhaling. Avoid just reaching the tailbone up, but I'm not trying to do a forward fold. As in say, Yoga. I want to keep the curve of the lumbar spine. I'm desperately trying to keep it. All right. Let's make it more interesting. Shall we let the bar come halfway up? If you need a break, you can take it.

Otherwise your bar is halfway up and it's still from here. Inhale. Once again, don't move the bar. Exhale. Float the heels up off the ground as you continue to curve the spine. Inhale down. Bar never moves or hardly and exhale out. Oh, and nail down. Try and tap into the back of the legs a little, not severely, but it's a little bit of me attempting to squeeze the sit bones toward each other. If that were possible and down one more time.

Yeah. And yeah, that's your inhale. And on this last exhale we'll allow our bodies to come all the way up. Being mindful. We've been upside down for a while. So do it slowly. Raise your hands, leave the bar and you roll. All right. Since it's already light, we're going to just step back away from the chair a little bit.

Please do right leg ball of the foot on the chair. All right. And um, I'm gonna encourage you to be a little further away from rather than a 90 degree angle at the knee just so that you can tap into the hamstring a bit for balance. Arms are out for a little bit of help. Initiate from high up here in the leg and just put partway down and keeping the body still. Oh it's a little heavier than that, but that's good. That's good. Just keeping it still lifting up. If you have a mirror in front of you, check that your hips are level.

And one more time, let the bar up and change cause I seen the other like on the ankle. Keep it pretty still. You don't want to flex and point through the foot much, right? Rather keep it stable. Hips are level and we go [inaudible] my goodness. There we go. So that first one, if you saw it, I didn't stabilize and I wasn't gonna move that bar anywhere. Second one, once I got going was that sense of hugging the midline, the sense of lifting up tall and working the entire powerhouse. One more for us.

And there we go. Alright, from there we're going to come around and I think this is going to be pretty good. You may decide you want to go a little bit lighter. I'm going to try it like this. First it's the torso precip. So what that means to us is simply sit onto the chair and I like to let my legs come up a little initially placing my hands, fingers facing outward on the bar and then it becomes an act of is this a good places, this a good place and how are we going to know is first of all in this position, can we move the bar at all? So far so good. Extend one leg out and then the other. Now can we move the bar and I think I did good.

So we're aiming to have the legs level or parallel to the floor. Fingers are out. I'm in a tiny posterior tilt to make my back flat and we go inhale as we take the hips and the body back. Exhale, hinge to come up. Legs remained. Still. Inhale as you press the bar down. Don't try not to arch your back right and hinge up.

Great teaser preparation. Inhaling back, exhaling up gotta. Use the hip flexors. You gotta use the Ab, you gotta use the back extensors and you and we get a bonus of a shoulder opener. One more. We'll go two more. One. I always say take your hips with you because of the tendency to arch the back. Rather it's a subtle tuck and this time bend the knees. Allow yourself to come up and rotate toward the front.

You're going to do one arm at a time. Extend the legs back out and you press this one has a bit of an arch in it. Hips are absolutely level though. Rise for four. Inhale back and exhaling vary. So I kind of feel all down the side here and it's certainly not in my low back.

And then as we come up, we fold the knees for a little break, drop the arms, take everything back up, rotate the other way and finding the bar [inaudible] and exhale, tempting to come off that one hip. Don't let it happen. Keep equal weight on the hips. Two to go. And one more. Bring it back up and for stepping off, turn yourself around. We're going into, let's go side first side stretch first. So all we want, yes, first sitting sideways on your chair. Same spring weight. And I will say this is a common thing where we want to sit just upright, right on the hip. Instead, come off to the side a little bit so that when we place the arm on the bar, yeah, you're in a long line. Okay?

From there to keep that opposite toe on the ground, top, hand to your ear, your body is long and straight. OK, check for arching spines. We go. Inhale to bend to the side. Exhale to bring it up. Now you're getting some help with this spring. I'm going to encourage you to pretend it's not there. Use The obliques to help lift you. And again, let it feel good.

Yes, true Rach. Some people will get to the floor, some people won't. It's not a goal, it's just keeping this shoulder both shoulders plugged in. Oh, Anna and over. We're going to hold this one. Enjoy. Keep that opposite two on the ground and maybe you'd like to stretch the top arm over a little bit more to encourage the stretch and then let yourself up. Oh, that change sides sitting on the side, finding the bar toe on the ground. Find your anchor, does it real strong tendency to archer or throw the ribs forward. So check for that. And it's an inhale as you go down. Engage the abdominals throughout as you come up on that exhale.

[inaudible] big long. Stretch that in how can really help facilitate the stretch. So enjoy that big inhale reminding ourselves that the head is part of the spine and we don't need to change it much. It just goes with us. Yeah, nice and long. There's a sense of me reaching long may not look like it, but that's certainly what I'm trying for. Stretching down. Maybe you'll get a little further as you go. If you can't reach the floor, if it feels too straining, you could also put your foot up on a little box or something to hold it there. On this next one, we'll go down and hold it down.

Stretch the top arm if you want to, if it'll add a little bit more to the stretch. And then as you come up, return the hand behind your head, coming all the way up to step off your chair. Facing it for some back extension basics one. So you approached the chair. I have, I don't know. Need to change the weights right now. Lean into the chair. Placing your hands on for the moment. Go to the ground. Just so we know where we're going to place our hips.

Typically it's a little bit, the hipbones are just a little bit behind the top of the chair from here engaged through the lat, so there's a settled press if you notice rather than being fully flat or right angle at the elbow, I've actually gone more to the front edge. It's easier on the wrist plus it's going to assist me in a good way. Legs are meant to be parallel to the floor and energized and from here I'm going to begin by lifting the back of my head, which is connected to the upper middle back. And then I bring the whole thing up and again, I'm pressing into the bar quite usefully I think. And down to level. You don't need to go to the floor, you're looking for parallel to the floor and inhale, reaching the chest through the arms to come up enjoying it.

And now the legs do your best to keep the inner thighs together. If they can't, they can't, but they're not just hanging out. All right? That's just not good and for lots of reasons, but primarily safety. You want to energize the legs and pull energy out of the low back abs or of course lightly engaged, but they got to let go a little. If you're going to arch your back and, and again, although the spring is helping us, we can pretend it's not there. Well, how would we do this if we didn't have a spring? Well we wouldn't, but we could try that for the end of the day. That feeling right there. One more time lifting.

And then from here, let the bar go to the ground. One hand up on top of the chair to help assist your feet to the ground. Step back a little bit from your chair just to take a stretch. I'm looking just to have my arms comfortable a wide though. Stretching out the shoulders a bit, looking for a pretty flat back.

Be Mindful not to just hang the head here. Um, you're actually looking for levels. So for you people that are flexible, you may have to hold back to get the good stuff out of this. From here, we'll round the low back. That means you'll look towards your abdominals. You'll tuck the pelvis under or the imaginary tail under and then release it back to flat and exhale round and flat. And then with this, we're going to come all the way up rounding, letting the hands just drift off the chair, restacking your spine. And then with that, just take the arms out to the side, a short one, but hopefully an effective one for you. And exhale, let it go. And one more. Make it big. Make a good, bring in what you need. We got all those range of motions in for you. Do some arms later though.

Thank you.


Reiner G
Hi Kristi, thanks for the class. It is always inspiring to learn from you. Looking forward to more chair classes, maybe level 3 (?) to prepare myself for the Comprehensive Teacher Training Course exam in February next year. Regards, Reiner
Thanks Reiner! Glad to hear you'll be taking the BASI course. BTW, you were inquiring about Lisa Clayton- Hubbard's classes... they have been added to the site today!
Sharon O
Thank you Kristi! Love your chair sessions! Energizing and focused :)
Your welcome Sharon! Thanks for giving it a try!
Love this!!
wonderful stretches, I loved this class
Thanks Janis... I could use a good stretch right now, I may have to go see what I did.
loved the variation with rotation on footwork! Felt great! Great cueing Kristi!
Another great class Kristie! The stretch and leg work in this workout was awesome. Just what I needed after a long day of teaching :).
Great workout on my new chair! Thanks Kristi!
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