Class #2497

Meredith's Favorites

50 min - Class
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Have fun with Meredith's favorite exercises in her Happy Birthday Reformer workout! It is the last class she did before her 40th birthday so she included the simple but challenging movements that make her happy. Your body will feel stronger and longer after taking this class!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Mar 02, 2016
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So, this is my last workout before I turn 40. Wow. I'm super excited to have my friend Christy supporting me morally today. She only just turned 40, so I know that there's hope for me too. I'm just gonna do my very favorite things, cause it's gonna be my happy birthday workout to me.

I hope you have fun. Here we go. Just start lying down on the reformer. I'm set up for foot work with three reds and one blue spring. Headrest down, heels on the bar.

Just close your eyes for a moment. I sometimes feel like the rushing and the doing and the everything that is life, there isn't that much time to just be present. Feel the weight of your body dropping into the reformer. Tension from your body dropping through the reformer, out of your body. Bring your awareness to your breath, the inhalation and the exhalation without any specific necessary restrictions on it right now.

Feel the length of your arms, the heaviness of your bones in your arms, the heaviness of your body, and inhale. As we exhale, we'll flatten the spine. From that flat spine position, we're gonna articulate the spine up, so moving through a pelvic curl. Heavy head, heavy arms. Inhale to pause.

Exhale, let the chest drop. Feel the relationship between each bone segmentally moving down into the reformer. Reaching all the way down, dropping the tail. Inhale and exhale as you flatten through the spine. My favorite things to do aren't very fancy, but that's okay.

We don't need fancy today. Exhale, chest drops. Again, instead of really thinking about the muscles moving, thinking about the heaviness, or the placement of the bones in your body, paying attention to where it feels challenging to separate the bones. Dropping the tailbone, inhale. Exhale two more times, rolling the spine.

Feel the heels pull down on the bar. The fingertips and arms reach towards the bar, like you could touch it. Inhale. And exhale, chest drops. Spine drops.

Feeling the relationship between the front body and the back of the body. Pause to inhale at the bottom. Last time, inhale. Exhale, rolling up through the spine. Holding the pelvis up at the top, lift the left leg off the bar.

Keep it bent. Inhale, reach and tap the heel. Exhale, lift the leg back. Inhale, reach and tap the heel. Exhale, draw in through the center of the body.

We'll do two more. Exhale to lift. Last time. Exhale to lift, pause. There are three single leg pelvic curls.

Can you make it just as even with one leg in the air as it is with both legs on the bar? Sometimes I feel more even with one leg in the air than I do with both legs on the bar. Roll back up. Feeling the back of that supporting leg really working for you. Inhale and exhale, chest drops.

Ribs, check in with the shoulders. Are they sliding up into the should blocks? Let's try to keep space there. Inhale, last time. Exhale, rolling up.

One of my favorite ideas to play with, as we roll down I'll tell you, is figuring out, in my own experience, how to be more easy in my body. Place the left heel down onto the bar. Inhale, both feet on the bar to roll up. Keeping the pelvis lifted, inhale. Exhale, lifting the right leg off the bar, keeping it bent.

Inhale, reach as to touch the bar. Exhale, we pull up. Inhale to reach and touch. Exhale, to pull up, twice more. Inhale, down.

Exhale, lift. Last one. Exhale lift, inhale. We roll the spine down. That's a challenge, right?

Trying to figure out how to be easy in your body when you're doing things that feel hard. Exhale, rolling up. Mental challenge, perhaps, more than a physical challenge. Inhale and exhale to roll down. Easy, easy, and appreciative.

Exhale to lift. Inhale and exhale to roll the spine down. Take the arms off the reformer. Reach back and hold onto the pegs. Lift the left leg to meet the right leg.

The legs are now together for the spine twist. Inhale, come towards me. Oh, I just cracked my back, that's awesome. (laughing) Exhale to come back through center. Inhale, to go away.

Exhale to come back through center. Feel as the knees go over in one direction, the abdominals pull in opposition, almost like you're trying to keep your belly button touching the reformer, even though that part of your spine is lifting off. Exhale. Let's do two more to each side. Inhale, feeling, I like to pull the pegs apart.

And center, Christy thinks that's nice. Inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale. And last time, to the other side. Inhale, reaching over, and exhaling to come to center.

What we're gonna do now is let go with the hands, we're gonna curl up, just hook yourself around, so you turn yourself around. Set yourself up so your shoulders are just right at the edge of the reformer. I don't know which view to give you of my body, but you're gonna get this one. Hands behind the head. Inhale, stretch the body over the top.

Exhale, curl the head and chest up. Simple, inhale, reach over, squeezing the legs together. Start there to engage through the abdominals and curl up. Inhale, reach over. Exhale, curl up.

Just gonna do two more. Inhale, reach over. Exhale, curl up. Inhale, reach over. I love this.

Exhale, curl up. Now, take the right foot, reach down, touch the floor, and pull it back. Left leg, reach down, touch the floor. Pull back. Right leg, inhale, and exhale.

Five repetitions on both sides Christy. Never felt so hard. Exhale and inhale down. Exhale and inhale down. Exhale and inhale down.

Pull, last time. Reach down, lift back, reach down, lift back. Now we add rotation. Let's go to the left first. Right leg to the floor.

Lift up and across, come to center. And to the right, and back through center. Inhale, little different breathing as an option. Exhale, and inhale, and exhale. Make sure that you're using the full extent of your breath.

Last two, coming back. One more. One more, holding it in the center. Now we just do a little pelvic curl. Almost there Christy, and back.

A little pelvic curl. Bring the knees to the chest and back. Bringing the knees to the chest and down. Last two. Curling in.

It's much harder after you're 40. Christy says it's much harder after you're 40. And back. To be honest, hold the legs, push into your hands and roll up. I tried to get Christy to wear a microphone, but she wanted me to be the star today, so that's how it goes.

I'll just have to tell you what she's saying. Come all the way down onto your back. I know, both of us are feeling our abs a whole lot. Head rest up or down, it's up to you. I'm gonna put mine up so I can see what's goin' on with my feet.

Heading into some footwork. Heels on the bar, arms straight down next to the body. Ribs soft and heavy. Take the legs, reach out and pull. Stretch, drag in.

Think about, as you're coming and using what, using the backs of the legs, obviously, or maybe not obviously, but we hear that all the time. Pulling the reformer in or working more to come in than you're working to come out. We'll just do three more here. Out, feeling the full length of the spine. Again, heaviness of the bones here, letting everything just flow.

Come all the way in, come to your toes. Another thing that I sometimes like to think about is imagining that the spine, let's push out, is velcroed to the reformer. The body, the trunk, is velcroed to the reformer. With that velcroing idea, the legs don't move unless the abdominals, or a center of the body, powers that movement. So dry like a steam engine, as an idea.

We'll do here four. Pulling the reformer in, keeping the heels nice and steady. Here's three, paying attention to the equality of weight in your feet. Last time. Coming all the way in, checking for a neutral position of the pelvis.

Slide the heels together to stay on the bar. Reach out, squeezing the heels together, wrapping through the hips, and pull. Reach, let's inhale today out, and exhale in. Inhale, using the exhale to remind us of that work in both directions. Using the inhale to feel a sense of expansion on the way out.

Contraction on the way in. Expansion in both directions, perhaps, would be a better idea. What expands has to contract. (laughing) Last two. Last one.

Coming all the way back in. Take the heels on the outside of the bar. Let's open the knees a little wider today, so more like a, I'm not a dancer, what's this called? Plie? More like a plie shape.

Then reach out. What? Christy thinks we might be the only two non-dancers in Pilates. I may agree with her there. What I want us all to think about is the outward wrap of the hips, like you're trying to push the knees down towards the floor.

That being said, don't actually take the knees beyond the feet. It's just energy that we're creating. We'll do four more. Pull the reformer in. Imagine squeezing something between the thighs, not only on the way out, but also on the way in.

Maybe specifically on the way, last count, we'll do two more. I don't know. All right, coming all the way in. Let's bring the knees in a little closer. They're just about as wide as the foot bar on the toes.

Here we go, reaching out and dragging in. Here again, creating an inner dynamic, an internal dynamic, a dynamic between the insides of the legs, a dynamic in the center of the body. Reaching and exhaling, last three. Remember that idea of pulling in, of working it. Last, sorry Christy, I miscounted.

Three makes four, in my brain. Here we go, toes in the center of the bar. Press out. Find weight all the way through the foot. Squeeze up through the hips, through the glutes.

Attach the heels to the glutes. Heels come down and up, lifting through the center of the body, feeling that full articulation of the feet in both directions. Finding your stretch. As the heels reach down, lengthen out through the top of the head so we get longer. Last time, and from the top, take the left heel under the bar.

Lift both heels up and switch. We're gonna go a little quicker. As we go quick, we want to keep the pelvis still. Let's do three more, but let's go real slow. Pull two, three, left.

Pull, stretch, three, left. Two, up. Feel the pull under, and then that nice and easy, nice and light on that up. Up, down, up, head back to the left, and just pause for a couple moments and take a stretch. That does feel good.

Another thing that we can do here is keep the left heel reaching under the bar, but let the left knee start to bend, so the stretch moves up the calf a little bit, stretching a different muscle. Then switch, finding that stretch first. Then feel the heel continuing to reach down, but allowing the knee to start bending. Then up on both and in all the way. Roll to your side.

Help yourself up. We're gonna do some single leg side work, so I'm gonna go down to two red springs. That feels like a good amount to me. I'm gonna take my head rest down. If you need a pillow or something, that's totally appropriate here.

I'm just gonna thread my arm through and rest my head down on my arm. Want us to set up where the foot is gonna be right underneath the pelvis, so not in front today. You won't be able to drop your heel down right away, but it will drop as you press out. From there, take the free leg underneath the bar. We're gonna start with a bent knee, but keep that heel down.

I can't get in very close. Yeah, the heel's gonna stay down. Start with your leg straight maybe, and then figure out where you can be in a straight leg, like you're standing on the bar. Then, start to bend. I can't go very close.

I can't go very far in. I have tight calves. You just go as far as you can, keeping the heel down. It'll be a smaller range of motion then it would be if the leg was in front. We're gonna do eight.

This is three. Christy's gonna help me count cause we all know about me and counting. Just two more, feeling the spine supported. This is our last one. From here, lift the heel a couple of inches off the bar, and then bend the knee.

You'll be able to come much lower there. And reach. Putting the focus in the movement into the back of the leg, not just in the push out, but drag in. Sometimes I like to reach my hand back and actually feel the muscle. Halfway, last four.

And three, keeping the bottom leg actively lifting. Two and last time. Come all the way back in. Rotate the foot so the knee is turned out. The hip is turned out.

Bottom leg lifts up so it's active, and then this is our last foot position. Reach out and pull in. Wrapping the hip back, wrapping the knee back. Working in both directions. Halfway.

Checking in with the supporting arm for no tension. Here's three and two and one, come all the way back in. Bend the bottom knee. Turn sides. Then again, I like to start with a straight leg so I can get myself organized, and I know I'm straight with my heel right underneath my sitting bone, and then we bend.

Oh, bottom leg straight Meredith. And stretch. And inhale, so feel the whole length of the body reaching down through that heel. Feel again, that bottom lifting up towards the bar. I think this is six.

Christy? (Christy speaking) Okay good, two more. So nice to have a counter. Last one. I wish I could take you everywhere with me Christy.

You could do all the things that are the hardest things for me to do. I could just make you do them. Or ask you nicely. Heel up, here we go. Reach out and pull.

Wouldn't that be nice? We could all have someone to carry around and do the very worst things in life, or the very hardest things. (Christy speaking) Yeah. Remembering to pull in. Last two.

Bottom leg lifting, one more. Come all the way back in, rotating that hip. Knee turns up. Make sure the knee and the second toe are lined up. Here we go, wrapping the legs together, almost trying to bring the bottom leg up to meet the top leg.

And reach out and pull. Reach out, checking in with your shoulders all the time. Checking in with the bottom side of the waist that's active. We'll do four more, I believe. And three.

Last two. Keeping the heels still. Last time. All the way in. Helping yourself up from there.

Change your spring to one spring, one red spring, one full spring. Turn around to face the straps. I don't know, I can't look at the sky without mentioning how beautiful it is today. Okay, so take your straps, put 'em on your knees, over your knees, on your thighs. (Christy speaking) I'm sorry Christy.

Christy has asked me if I like this one, and I'm not gonna say if I do or I don't. I guess I do if it's in my favorites. You want to be just fingertip distance from the shoulder blocks. Let's lift the legs there. Hold the back of the legs, get a nice high curl.

Then, bring the hands behind the head. Inhale to stretch the legs out, and exhale to pull in. To be honest Christy, I forgot I was doing my favorite things. (laughing) It just made sense. And pull.

This isn't my favorite, but it's hard and simple. I like simple. We're gonna do six, this is four. Take the legs straight out and straight in. Last time.

Holding here, reach behind the thighs again. Curl up, with rotation. What Christy? Nothing. Hands back behind the head and reach out.

As we bend, we'll rotate across to one side. As we come to straight legs, we'll come to center. Bend, rotate, and stretch. Feel the rotation in the rib cage. Focusing on the bones again.

I love it. The up bone comes over the top of the bottom, rib bones which slide into towards the spine. Maybe what I like about this is this is so effective. It only takes a minute. Last two, to both sides.

That'll be a total of four Christy. I get it. (laughing) Last time. (exhaling) That my friends, is enough. Bend your knees, rock up.

Take the straps off your knees. Turn yourself back around, add a blue spring and lie down. We're gonna bring the feet into the straps now. Ooh, I know what we're gonna do. This is something I learned from my dear friend.

My dear friend here in this room with me, so that's fun. What I want us to do is bend the knees into a long diamond shape. They're not really a frog position. Lift that diamond shape straight up towards the ceiling. We're gonna wrap the knees away from one another to move the reformer.

Reaching down, aiming towards the foot bar. Inhale to lift the legs up. Exhale, feel the knees turn away from one another to slide the legs down. Try to go as low as you can without losing lower spinal connection. I like to aim at the foot bar, if not slightly below.

Definitely don't go so low that you lose your commitment to your integrity, or the integrity of the exercise anyway. You can decide for yourself about your integrity. Last time, hold it at the bottom. Try to hold the reformer still. Slide the femur bones deeper into the hip joints and stretch the legs.

Try to hold the reformer still as you bend the knees, and lift that diamond shape up. Same thing here, carriage stays still. Stretch the legs to straight. Bend the knees and then press the reformer down, or press the legs down. Slide the femurs deeper into the hip joints, trying to keep the reformer still as you stretch.

Bend the knees back into that long diamond. Lift the legs up towards the ceiling. Stretch the legs from there. Bend the knees. Wrap the hips to press down.

One more time through. Stretch the legs out. Bend the knees. Lift the legs up. Stretch through the legs.

Hold it there and now five circles in each direction. Open, reach down and together, touch. Inhale to lift. Tailbone heavy, arms heavy, spine heavy, bones heavy. Inhale, feeling the rotation, that gentle movement of the leg and the hip joint.

Last two. One more. We're gonna reverse now. Go out, feeling the hips rotate as the heels come together at the top. Press away.

When the legs are pressing away, focus not on doing that from your feet, but doing it right where the back of the legs meet the hips. Right where the glutes and the hamstrings come together. Just two more. Reaching down, around and up. Last time, reaching down.

One more after this Christy? Okay, yeah, let's do one more. Bend the knees, short spine. Make sure your head rest is down. Stretch the legs out, point your feet.

Fold yourself in half at the waist, bringing the carriage all the way in to touch the stopper with control. Exhale, roll the spine up. Inhale, bend the knees at the top. Keep the feet over the eyes. Roll the pelvis away from the feet, and then just as the legs pass that 90 degree angle, start to drop the thigh bones down towards the body.

Flex your feet, hinge the legs away from you. Press out, point your feet. Check in with your shoulders. Meredith, that's a cue for you. Reach in, come all the way and touch.

Exhale, roll up. Inhale to bend the knees. Keeping the feet over the eyes, roll down. As the knees pass, just get a little longer than that 90 degree. Start to drop the thighs down towards the body, flex the feet, and then press from the back of the legs as the legs hinge across.

One more. Point, inhale over. Come into touch. Exhale to lift. Inhale to bend.

Exhale to use the front of the body to lay the bones of the spine back into the carriage, dropping the hips down, bringing the legs through. Let's take the feet out. I love the short spine. I think when I first started Pilates, what sold me, short spine and leg circles, for sure. Go down to one spring, one red spring.

We're just gonna put both hands on the bar. We're gonna take the inside leg and just bring it right up against the shoulder block, so the shin is attempting to be as vertical as possible. Then, just push the reformer away. Reaching down, lifting the spine. Breathing.

You're gonna need this more after 40. Christy thinks I'm gonna need to stretch more after 40. I've been needing to stretch more since I was born. Lift your same side arms. I've got my right leg on the carriage and I'll lift the right arm.

Same side arm. We're just gonna stretch across to the other direction. Then come back. I've never been a stretcher, I've always been a pusher. It's just how I roll.

Other side. Okay, so knee right up against that shoulder block, shin goes as perpendicular, is that perpendicular? Then press the reformer away, and lay that thigh down into the bed. I've got, my feet aren't all the way forward like they would be for the eve's lunge, the standing lunge. I've got my foot a little closer to me.

Then, we can take same side arm. Lift it up, lift the ribs, stretch over, letting the arm that's balancing you, that's holding you stable, let that shoulder blade fall. Then come back, and then bring the carriage in. I'm gonna take us into the down stretch now. If you need more spring, now is the time.

I like the one spring for the down stretch. That makes me happy. We already discussed that this is all about me being happy. (laughing) Hands on the bar. I want us to start in a round spine.

Let's actually do some round back knee stretches. Press the reformer away. Draw into that curvature of the spine, and just stretch the spine as the knees come, one. I'm doing these a little slower than typically, just cause I'm looking more for the stretch in this moment, right here, right now. Pull in, we'll just do one more.

Inhale to press out. Exhale to pull in. We're gonna go through the push out again. Stay there. Drop the pelvis down.

Now, as the pelvis starts to move down, start engaging through the backs of the legs, start feeling that you're pulling up through the abdominals as well, then bring the reformer all the way, lifting up off the foot bar. Then push away. How can you lift up off the foot bar if you're touching the foot bar? I don't know. You try to get lighter on your arms.

Three more, inhale out, keeping that nice stable position. Exhale in and inhale out, sliding the shoulders down, pressing up away from the bar. Last time. As you come in, think about kissing the stopper, like trying not to find the stopper until the very last moment. I think we need to do one more.

I know I said that was the last one, but I want one more. We lift all the way up, up, up. Round the spine, stand on the reformer. Careful if you're just on that one spring. Heels halfway up the shoulder blocks.

Arms still on the bar, finding the long up stretch position. From there, feeling that the back is nice and flat, Christy you can lift your sternum just a smidge. Perfect, inhale, take the legs back. Look at me being giving on my birthday. You will be able to take the legs back and exhale.

Again, I'll just say out loud that I wish you could hear Christy speaking to me right now. She's pretty funny. That's our last one Christy. We're gonna do up stretch two, or plank to pyramid. We come in to the plank position, pivoting around the shoulder joint, and then pull back.

Inhale. Lift the hips, pressing the pelvis up and the chest down. Last time, inhale. Exhale and then back down. We're gonna come forward over the foot bar.

Press actively through the heels and then push the reformer away. Pull in, lifting, using the abdominals for support. Push the reformer away, just one more. Pull in. Think we have to push away one more time.

Let's lift the hips up here and then step down. I like to stand right about in the middle of the reformer. If you don't have a bar that has safety hooks on, just be careful that you're not pulling the bar for this. It's just a stretch, no big deal. Take the right leg out to the side of the reformer, lift it up, turn the pelvis up, lifting the leg up behind you, open the hip, uh-huh, and then bend the knee.

You can use the foot bar to stabilize as you pull away. Again, a stretch. You can bend your long monkey arms, if you have monkey arms. You can stretch the leg back up. That was rude, I'm sorry.

Come back. Yeah, so it's just a stretch is the end result of that question. Explore. The leg lifts, the pelvis opens, the knee bends. I like to pull away, like lean away from the bar.

Oh, I see it. Christy likes to push into the bar, which I think either way is legit. Bring the leg back and let's just step down onto the floor from there. I'm gonna keep that, isn't that a nice stretch? Gonna keep that spring, still on one spring.

Turn around for some chest expansion. Let's hold just above the hardware on the straps, finding the spine in an upright position, reaching the arms down towards the reformer, reaching the top of the head towards the ceiling. Starting with the arms just in front of the thighs, so as I'm speaking, we're already working. From there, we go down and back, and down and forward. Down and back.

What I like to try to find is the place where you are pressing forward into the shoulder blocks with the weight of your body, or with your pelvis, so that you're having to be in that position. Create a balance challenge. We're just gonna do two more. Back and forward. One more time.

Back, so now what I want us to do Christy, is I want us to create a low back extension with that. It's not a lean. It's a down reach with the arms, and as the arms go back, we just lift the sternum. It's almost imperceptible, it's almost not visual. Then come back to straight and bring the arms forward.

Reach down first, as the arms pass the thighs start to lift the sternum, push down with the arms even more there. Then come back. My face makes a visual. Your face makes a visual. Hopefully you can see Christy's face making a visual.

Reaching and then back. Last two. Arms down, reaching the chest. Back and last time. Sorry, I'm still laughing about Christy's face making a visual, because that's what she said was happening.

I can't see it. And then back, but it's funny to me. Hang the straps up, turn around. I'm gonna go lighter. I'm gonna use a blue.

We're gonna do some arm circles. Sitting with the feet up against the shoulder blocks, reach down and take your whole, take your straps again into your hands. Starting with the arms just down next to the thighs, let's reach up, scooping the air up. Arms come to the ears. We reach out to touch both sides of the room as the arms come down.

Both sides of the room mean whatever room you're in, or maybe both horizons, or maybe New York and San Francisco. Well, that's a little asymmetrical, isn't it? That's all right, that's the idea. Last two. Up, rotate, and down, holding the body stable.

Up, rotate, and let's reverse. Go up, rotate so the palms of the hands face up and bring the arms just in front of the legs. Reach out, lift the ribs up off the pelvis. Can you, as an idea, as your arms go up, expand, get taller, get longer, create more space, take up more space? I stole that directly from Christy's mouth.

I'll just own that, thank you Christy for the cue. Last, we'll say two. I think we're gonna do one more than we did in the other direction, but we'll live. That was that. Okay, so we're gonna circle to the top.

I get my way and we do the same amount. We bring the fingers and the thumbs together the first fingers and the thumbs. Don't push forward with your hands. Push straight up. If you need to push forward do that.

To challenge yourself, and what I like to think about in this exercise is not the hands pushing up so much as the shoulder blades going down the back, and then the arms moving as a result of that. Of course, they have to push and of course, that's that's the direction they're going, but think about it as coming from the bottom rather than coming from the top. Just gonna do one more. Reach up, open the arms, come all the way down. Want to untuck my toes, sit down on my feet.

Put the straps away. I was gonna skip biceps, but now Christy's guilting me into biceps. I'm gonna add a rev note. I really just sat down to add a spring. Add a red spring, come back up.

I do like the bicep. Same tall spine position. Lift the arms. Make sure the shoulder blades aren't squeezing together. Think about the upper arms pulling away from one another, not wider, just energetically.

Then bend the elbows and reach back, keeping the upper arms still. Bend, try not to lean forward. Leaning forward makes it a little easier to maintain your balance. And back. Drawing in, so always bringing awareness to the center of the body, backs of the legs work here too.

They help to support that upright position. Let's do four more. Pull and reach back, keeping the upper arms still. Three. Two, top of the head reaching for the sky.

Last one. Coming all the way back. Again, untucking the toes, sitting down onto the feet, hanging up the straps. Let's take the foot bar down. In my world, in my favorite movements of my body, we do the side over, I love it.

We need boxes. We've got our boxes now, and we have hooked up all our springs to stabilize the carriage. Reaching for the foot strap. No fancy business here, just straight up side over as the leg is, top leg is in the strap. I like to start with my hand on the headrest, just because I feel that it helps to find alignment, good alignment.

Let's take top head behind the head, looking straight ahead. Where is that, I don't know. Other hand back, hold your position. Five, four, three, get longer, and inhale over the top. Exhale reach up, five.

Over the top and reach up, holding that for a moment. Over, trying to go lower. Three. Two, so we're coming up to my favorite part of this exercise. This is the end.

The end! (laughing) Reach all the way down and take a stretch, this stretch. This stretch is my favorite part. I mean, I like the work. It's so satisfying to me, but the stretch is so good. Another thing I like to do is take your hand and put it in the front of your reformer, and then roll the pelvis backwards.

Now, if this doesn't feel good to you, by all means, don't do it. I'm just telling you what feels good to me. I think it feels great. Let's keep that hand there and lift the opposite arm off the ground. Bring it to the opposite side of the reformer and rotate.

Let's pull back on the reformer frame and bring the chest out and forward. I don't, I'm not trying to move the reformer. I don't think we can really, because it's locked. I'm just thinking about pulling my spine forward. I'm gonna bend my elbows, cause I like to come down too.

Okay, hands back onto the head rest first, and then up onto the box. I'll switch sides. Starting with the hand on the head rest, finding your own alignment, top hand behind the head. Head on straight. Once you found that position, so work your way into your position, you should be working right now.

Bottom hand comes up. We hold it, five, four, three, two, one. Now, inhale over the top. Reach out long. Further every time, inhale and reach out long.

Inhale and lift. Push the leg away from you. This side, for me, is 100 times harder than the first side. Now, we're done. Reach down with the hand, let it rest on the reformer.

If you don't have long enough arms, or your sides are tight, you can rest your elbow on your head rest. Opposite arm reaches over and create oppositional pull with the leg pushing away. To do what we did on the other side, we take the front hand on the frame in front of us, and just allow the pelvis to roll backwards. It's totally a nice lat stretch. It's a great hip flexor stretch for me as well.

I think all of us Pilates people need hip flexor stretches. That's a for sure thing, in my opinion, which I have lots of. One hand on either side of the reformer now, and then pull out long. Let the elbows bend if you wish, and bring the body down. Breathe.

Then helping yourself back up. We're gonna come off the box. We're gonna turn it longways. We're gonna do my very, very most favorite back extension. We're gonna put the bar up.

Put the bar up. Take all the springs off except for one red or blue. I'm gonna leave a red, but it's not gonna stay there for very long. Set up your bar. Come and lie down on it, not the bar, the box.

Lie down on the box. We're just gonna leave that spring on, cause I want to make a point, or suggest something. Finding yourself on the box, my chest is just over the edge. If you feel squished up into the foot bar, just push away a little. Hands are on the foot bar.

Fingers, wrists, elbows, on a straight line. Just like we did when we were doing the triceps and kneeling, want you to feel the shoulder blades go down. Don't even change anything. Don't even move. The shoulder blades go down, that allows a little pressure to move into the hands.

Move the reformer with that energy. Shoulder blades going down. Arms going straight. Body's a little bit lifted into back extension. As you bend, try to pull the bar apart.

Let's do that two more times. Exhale, press out. Bend the elbows, simple. It's not a push with the hands, it's a pull from the back. Bend in.

Once you get all the way in this time, we're just gonna reach down, take the spring away, totally away. We have zero springs on the reformer. Now, just watch your foot bar, don't pull it out. It's the same, a little down, press a little bit of back extension, just to hold, then we slide the shoulders down. It's not magical on the way out for me.

It's magical on the way in. Truly. The elbows bend, we stretch the bar, we try to rip it apart from the center, and we drag ourselves in, all the while, trying not to pull up on the foot bar. Then reach out, gentle. Slide in, stabilizing, feeling the energy, working through both sides of the body, both arms working evenly.

We're gonna do two more like that. Reach out. Bend in, maybe lifting the chest a little bit more on the way in as an idea. I just tried it, I like it. Last one.

Lowering slightly. Lifting. We're gonna take the arms out one more time. All the way out. This time, instead of bending the elbows, lift the head, lift the spine, bring the box in as far as you want to.

Coming up, up, up, feeling that moment, the spine, the strength of the spine. Support from the front of the body. Press back out. Bend the elbows. Bring the reformer home.

It's a good idea to hook a spring up before you get down, I think. I'm just gonna step to the side of the reformer, onto the floor. I'll come this way. Then, just stand. Let your arms hang down the sides of your body.

Again, notice or look, where, inwards, in you. Bringing the chin into the chest, and just allow the spine to ripple down towards the floor. Top of the head reaching down towards the ground. Knees can be soft or straight. Pause there.

Notice how little effort you can move into lifting yourself back up, feeling the alignment of the bones. Inhale, letting the arms hang. Last one, exhale, rolling down. If there is any tension left in your body, just let it drip out the top of your head. Pull in front of you.

Pause and inhale at the bottom. Exhale to roll up. Just stand for one moment. My favorite maybe are the moments of stillness. Maybe for sure.

Okay, (clapping) thanks. We're done. Happy Birthday. Thank you. Happy Birthday.

Thank you.

Comments

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1 person likes this.
Cannot wait to try this. Happy birthday Meredith.
1 person likes this.
xoxoxox!!!!!!!! Happy birthday with pilates.
Love. Viera (60)
2 people like this.
Happy Birthday meredith!!
I am a very big fan of your workouts!
I hope you're still a long long time and am already looking forward to new videos from you!!!!!
1 person likes this.
Happy happy BDay! ?????? loved the workout!
1 person likes this.
Happy birthday lovely Meredith ... ????????
1 person likes this.
Really great class.
Nice job, felt like you were both in the room with me. ?? Happy Birthday
1 person likes this.
Lovely way to start my day. It's been 22 years since my 40th birthday. Isn't 60 the new 40? That must make 40 the new 20.
1 person likes this.
Congratulations to you on reaching 40 while looking so fabulous and representing glowing health here on Pilates Anytime. It is a pleasure to borrow ideas and gain inspiration from your videos. I love your cueing and your style! Wish you a very Happy Birthday!!
1 person likes this.
Your. Biggest fan . Happy birthday!!
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