Class #2526

First Time Session

30 min - Class


In this special Cadillac workout, Niedra Gabriel teaches her friend, Daniella, who has been in a wheel chair for many years. She takes Daniella through her first Pilates session, sharing her history and showing the improvement in mobility, strength, and control. This is a great way to see how versatile Pilates can be when you work on the fundamentals and principles.
What You'll Need: Cadillac, Hand Weights, Reformer Box, Magic Circle

About This Video


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So good afternoon everybody. I'm very excited to have my good friend Daniella here with me today to show how we are going to be working together. As you can see, she's in a wheelchair. Eight years ago she had back surgery. Um, sadly during the surgery she got an infection in the spine and she ended up in a coma for three months and when she came back her legs were paralyzed all the way down. So it was a very challenging and life changing experience. Um, but what I have recently come to realize is Daniella is capable of moving your legs. She has mobility and control and that has gradually increased.

And um, this is a test to see how much Polaris can help her. She lives in a wheelchair, muscles are very weak and underused and places such as a safe modality. Um, a lot of my observation is that she just needs to get stronger and use her muscles to restore the knowledge that used to exist in her body before she went through this. A very challenging experience. So, even though I had wanted to work with her prior to today, life was not meant to be that way. Today is lesson number one for Daniella. Um, and I'm starting her on the wheelchair. Um, I'm sorry. No Cadillac. So here we go. Uh, she can't stand and I will be talking through different things that happen. So Daniella, you will have to tell me, do you need this? Yeah.

Okay. Yes. And she has a strap around her waist so that I can help her in case her feet buckle. Good and over you go. Yes and yes. Oh, okay. So I will move, bring the baret up, up and up. Okay. I'm moving this out of the way. Okay.

So I'm test running. I tried the bigger box for her fee, but it's too much. Daniella, lift your feet up. Let's get this under better because I want her feet grounded so she can actually feel. And now I want your feet more or less straight. And think of your knees going up. Now from here, Daniela, I want you to lift up, up, up, up, up, and pull your stomach in and look straight ahead. Yes. So you start to get a sense of very strong. Now can you tighten your bottom?

Squeeze. Relax your muscles. Good. And again, I'm going to keep this knee out. And again, lift your back up. Pull your stomach in. Keep Your Chin straight there. You look straight ahead like you have a nice ring. And when your Chin down, Dow that straight. Now can you push up and to enter my yes and hold it and hold it and hold it and relax. Good. And again, you're going to do this five times. I'm keeping her knees going straight ahead and again, lift up.

Remember that Chin. You're like a queen. Yes, look straight ahead. Squeeze your bottom. Lift, lift, lift, lift, lift. She's got good strong muscles. Go in and relax. Very good. Daniella. Two more times and lift like that. Oh yes, I can feel the muscles starting to kick in. Lift, lift and relax. And one more time like that. Lift up, tighten your bottom. Pull your belly in.

Lift up, lift up, lift up, lift up, and relax it. Good work. Hold on a minute. I am getting a magic circle for you. So all I want to do here is start to get her muscles kicking into. Let's get your feet a little wider. This between your knees and she is five feet tall and she's a little tiny lady. We want to make you five foot five. So from here, let's have your hands right here.

Lift your back up. Yes, that's it. Now squeeze up magic circle. Go and hold and hold and hold and hold. Now relax and let the knees go out. And again, squeeze, lift, hold, hold, hold. Good. Work with your head and relax.

And again, squeeze your bottom. Lift your stomach up. Hold now breathe. Breathe. Make the legs work. But don't stop breathing. Good, good, good. Make those legs. Work, work, work, work, work, and relax. So you're starting to kind of work. You've got two more times to go. Lift up like that. Squeeze those muscles. Relax your shoulder.

First mistake of the day. Okay. We have to keep the magic circle between your feet, your knees. I should say. Okay, so squeeze them again. That's it. That's it. Place it so you don't pop out. Yes. Now yes. Make this knee work to push it. Push it.

Lift up your back. Now keep breathing. There you go. Good. Keep squeezing. Keep breathing and keep squeezing and keep breathing and keep squeezing. And last one, breathe in. Then breathe out and relax. And you'll have one more to go.

Tell me where you're feeling the muscles work. Do you know here? SAS. Good, good, good. Okay. You have one more to go. And I want you now to really think of those muscles as you make them work. So you just start to become aware of what you're doing.

So let's have your hands here by your sides on the in front. Lift you back up. Good. There you go. So just like that. Now squeeze the magic circle and hold it and hold it. Make sure you're still breathing and hold it and hold it and hold it. And relax. Good work.

Now we will take the magic circle and slip it inside and bring it up. So it's on the outside of your knees. And you want your feet straight. Good and same things. Lift your back, bring your chin down. You imagine you will have a crown on your head. This is the top of your head.

Good. Now push out. Push. Make the left leg work as much as the right leg. Yes. Push and push and push. And then relax. And again, press and lift your back up. That's it. Because we want to get this spine active again. Push, push, push and relax. And again, press and push. Push, push and relax.

And one more time and press. [inaudible]. Push and push and push and relax. Okay, we're taking the magic circle out. Get your feet going straight ahead. So you see how your left foot goes out. Can you bring the foot straight? Yes, that's it. And this foot straight. There we go.

You want to be able to see your ankles. So with your feet like this, can you lift your toes? That's it. Put your toes down and lift your toes. Put your foot to pose down. Let's do this here if you can. That's it. And again, lift your toes, lift them, lift them, lift them, lift them. Put your toes down. One more time.

Lift your toes like this. Spread and make them work. Make them work. Make them work and down. Now lift your heels up, lift the heels and down. Now lift the toes and down and lift your and down. Now as you do it, Daniella, try to keep your knees from moving and lift the toes good and down. Lift your heels and down. Lift your toes and it down. Very good.

Now keep your feet straight and I want little ankle weights, not ankle weights. I'm sorry. Hand weights. These are two pounds one and one. I want your arms long and right here. Now sit up tall. I'm going to come behind you so that I can see your back.

I want you to lift up very tall and your head like that. Push up with your whole body's. Pull your stomach at. Yes. Push into my hand and I will let your shoulders, that's it on the yellow. Now keep yourself like this and just bend your head, the bend your elbows and bring this up towards your shoulders. Keep you back up, up, up, up, up. And as you go down with the arms, go down with the arms. Keep pushing up, pushing up, pushing up, pushing up. Don't get shored. We want you five foot to push up and lift.

Lift, lift, lift, lift, lift. That's it. You see how beautifully you lifted. And now stay this tall as you go down. Lower the arms, keep lifting, keep lifting, keep lifting, keep lifting. I can feel her spine lifting up. Lift up. So she's been in a wheelchair for quite a few years and she's been slumping and down. And I want to reverse that and remind her back muscles how to work. And again, lift, lift, push up, push up, lift up your back. That's it.

Homes by lifts and lower down. Two more times like that. And lift, lift, lift, lift. Now tighten your bottom. Get Taller, warps and down. Very nice. And last one, lifting up. Lift your back. Lift up, lift up, lift up and down. Nice work. Put the weights down. And the next one, because her back is a little bit slumped, I want to start to get your neck muscles working. So this is what you will do. You will be like this because this is juicy. How my neck is, goes forward and my chin forward. That's where you're at now.

And we need to get your neck up so you have like your head is straight so you will sit and I'll help you get there. Life and you hold and then you're going to push down and back. Very good to build up your strength. So this comes under your chin. I want your feet flat again. In fact, now let's get your feet together so they touch and your knees together. That's it. And keep squeezing and I'm coming behind you again.

So lift up your back like you did a minute ago. Lift Chin down. Good. Lift up your back more and now push your chin down. Push it down, push it down, push it down and lift it back up again. Good, good, good, good push. Don't let the Chin there. I'm going to bring your head back. Lift up your back. Lift up that sir. Now Bring Your Chin down. So I'm hinges. Bring Your Chin down. I want your Chin to go to here and back up. [inaudible] right. Lift up your back, lift up.

There it is. Bring Your Chin in and press this up. Back Up. I Blah, blah, blah, and back and lift. Two more times like that. Bring Your Chin in. Chin, Chin in and lift. I want you to think of being nice and tall. Her back is beginning to work. I can feel the muscles firing. One more time. Bring Your Chin in, Chin and Chin in and back up.

Relax. Very nice work. So Daniella, the next thing is moving you onto your back. So your feet will come to here and your head will go to there. So let's see if you can do this all by yourself. Very good. You need to move a little bit up to you. Have Room very good and lie down on your back.

Lie Down, lie down, lie down, lie down. Okay. Bend your knees. What is hurting your back? Bend your knees. Can you come back up again? Bring your hands and you come straighten your legs out. Oh, okay. So first time I'm working with her, so we're discovering what you need. Is it in this part of your back that it hurts?

All right. Right in there. Okay, very good. So Daniella was mentioning that it really harsh on her spy. Again, she sleeps in a very soft bed and her back has not done any movement in a long time. So it's got a lot of rigidity and lack of mobility in it. So I have padded up a very soft pillow that will go right in her lumbar spine in her lower back area where she's not been moving very much and a few pillows under her head because her spinal column has been very rounded over for a long time. So she has some support. It restores the curves into her spine, gives you a chance to start doing some work to activate all the muscles. So let's have a go now. Let's have you lying down on your back, Daniella. And here we go. And Are you okay? Yes.

All right. So let's have you bend your knees up. As I mentioned, she's a belt because her legs are weak. So if she needs help standing and sitting, this is to help her with all of that. My little tools here and what we are going to do. I want you to move a little tiny bit to your left. Yes. So that you're right in the middle. That's enough.

That's enough because we need to have your body in the middle with the springs and we're going to start with one leg spring. So bring this leg up. No other leg, the other leg. Right? And see if you can stretch your knee. Yes. Now straighten the knee more. Good. I want you to tighten your bottom the way you did a minute ago and I want you to pull your belly in. Yes.

Now what's going to happen from here? Squeeze your bottom, stretch your knee, stretch it. Good. And let's extend it out. So you're going to pull the leg to here. Keep your right hip down. This dow stomach in.

Yes, Daniella. That was excellent. Pull into this spring. Push, push, push. Keep it straight. Keep it straight. The leg has to be super strong. I know this is hard work. Lower the little bit more. Hold it. Hold it.

Hold it. Take it a little bit lower. Hold it. I want you to feel your back on the mat and your stomach strong and then come back up. How was that hard work? Put the foot down. I wanted next to this one. Nope. No, no, no, no. Every time you come back here. Okay. So your knees are together. I want you to feel your knees.

I want you to bring your feet together and you squeeze them. So every time you put your body in order, so before you do your other leg, I want you to feel your stomach strong and your bottom strong and your hand strong. Now keep that in. Can you lift this leg up right now? Stretch your knee and extend the leg out towards me. Don't let this knee fall. Yes. Pull it out. Hold, hold, hold, hold.

Now lowered halfway down your calf hole. Pull this stomach in. Hold, hold, hold. Go. Even lower. Hold, hold, hold, hold and bring your leg up. Keep it strong. Keep it strong. Keep it strong, keep it strong. You're coming out, bend your knee and put your foot down. That was very good. Now you will do the same thing.

No Springs, just you and your muscles. So can you extend this like out? Nope. The first leg. So remember, hold on Daniela. The same thing we did. I want your feet together. Yes, your knees together. So every time you find your body before you start to move, now can you take this leg and straighten it out?

That's it. Let's start at your ankle now. Hold it here, hold it and hold it and hold it and hold it lifted a little higher. Hold that stomach hold, hold, hold, hold. Lifted a little higher and higher. Hold. Hold, hold. Bend your knee. Put your foot back down. Yes. So I can tell she's, you know, her legs haven't done anything in years. So they're, they fatigue very easily.

So I'm just doing a little bit, making them more card and then shifting gears because that's how she's going to build up strength. So remember, I want your knees together. I want them facing the ceiling. So a lot of mental work for you. Can you bring them a little bit more? Are you okay? Yeah. Okay. Now we take this second leg. Let's have it stretched out low down. Now this knee will have to be like this. Can you hold it?

Hold, hold, hold. Very good. Lifted a little higher. How old? How old? How old? Holy did a little higher. Hold. Hold. Can you hold it on your own? Hold, hold, hold. Very good.

And Bend your knee and bring your foot down next to the other good work. Okay. Now I want you to take this first knee. Can you bring it into your chest? Bring it in and hold it with both hands and give it a little squeeze. But watch this. Yes. And just pull your belly in.

Good. And now can you lift your head up a little bit towards your knee? Can you lift your head up or that's it? I put your head down. Put your head back down and put your foot down. That's the exercise. Okay, now here you go. You want to feel your hips, your knees. Now bring this knee in first. The knee. Hold the knee with both hands. Pull your stomach in and squeeze.

And now lift your head hold, hold, hold. Put your head back and put your foot back. And we do keep the knees tight. One more time than the Ella. Bring the first leg up. Good. And pull it in. And I'm just keeping it lined up. Hold. Good, good, good, good. Can you lift?

Hold, hold. Very good. Put your head down. Put your foot back down and then the other leg comes up. Bended. Hold it with both hands and [inaudible]. Hold, hold, hold.

And put your head down and your feet down. Good. Now fix the knees. Get them straight. Put your head down. Very good. Very, very nice. Now let's have you stretch your legs out. So then one leg and one leg. Yes. Okay.

What is more comfortable? Straight legs or bent? Mm, about the same. Okay, so we have 'em straight. Now can you hold this with both hands on the outside, outside, and have your arms straight, right? Let's have your shoulders away from the ears. That's it. Can you still stretch your elbows? Yes.

Now little bit here. I want you to pull your belly in and push your arms in. No, the head will stay down. Okay. So you just push these arms down, down, down, down, and bring the arms back up. Up, up and up. Keep your hands here. I'm making the bar a little lower. Hold on. Don't just stay right where you are. So be, I'm just trying to find an anchor ankle angle. It will be useful for her. Oh, okay. So long arms, shoulders away from your ears.

Belly strong and bottom strong. That's it. Now push the arms down. Pull, pull, pull, pull, pull, pull, pull, pull, pull, hold, hold. Hold them. Bring the arms up. Very good. One more time like this. Daniela, take a breath in and on your out-breath.

Press and reach. And Paul, hold, hold, hold. Um, bring your arms back up. Very good. Let's have you relax your hands down by your sides and I am going to put on another piece of equipment. Let me get it. So I wanted to do a little bit of the breathing with her to get her hamstrings to work. Now. So your truck keys and Oh Kido, keep now Daniella, can you put one foot up here?

Yes. See if you can get it in. Good. And the other leg. Good. Good. I'll help you. But I'm going try and make you do as much of the work. Whoops. As you can yourself. So this is now can you make your feet here?

This is a high. Hmm. So because Daniella is only five foot and this is a bigger sized Cadillac. I didn't like the angle her legs were in. So I found two extra hooks so that I can bring that angle down a bit, which will be more suitable for her body as a starting point. So this makes it lower. So okay, Daniella, let's have you put your feet in again, one foot and one foot.

And I think this is a more comfortable place for you. Now let's have you start with your hands by your sides on the Mat. Can you push down with your feet and lift your bottom up, lift up, hold, hold, hold, hold and roll down. Roll your back Dow to the Mat. So you go, come back to lie, right? Does that hurt your back or just hard work? Little bit. Okay.

I want you to squeeze your bottom tight and really lift your bottom up again. Press just to there. Hold, hold, hold. [inaudible] and lower back down. Very good. One more time. Squeeze your bottom and lift.

Hold, hold, hold. Good girl. And lower back down. Now we go into do two moves at the same time. I'm gonna keep your hips a little bit more here. Now you will hold this bar again, Paul with the arms. You're gonna lift your bottom at the same time. Let's have a go. That's it. Push down. Lift and pull the arms down. Hold, hold, hold, hold and roll down. Nice. Two more times.

And lift your bottom. Hold, hold, hold, hold and down. [inaudible] and pull your belly in now. And one more time. Squeeze your bottom. Pull down with these arms. Hold, hold, hold, hold. And down. Very good. Very, very good. Can you lift your feet out, put your feet back down and we will put you [inaudible] a little bit of double legs. Springs. So here we have these truths, springs and let's have one foot up again. Okay, good. One foot and the other foot. Yes. Yes, yes. Okay. Now you see the two poles above your head.

W with your hands, you have two poles above your head. I want you to reach back with your arms and hold him. Not that the Poles, the side. Yes. Now lift the hands a little higher and I want you to use them to push your back into the mat. So you push towards me. Push towards me not pulling. Push. Yes. So you feel this now bend both knees and now knees apart.

So you're going to hit and be like a little frog. And from here, squeeze your stomach and push your legs out to me. Push, push, push, push, stretch both legs, straighten them and then bend the knees back and the knees go towards your armpits. But you go slow. And again, press out, push, push, push, push, push, push, right? Keep your stomach in and slowly bend your knees together. Bend, bend, then then good again. Press, stomach in, bottom type, push, push. Stretch those legs. Bend your knees, bend, bend, bend, bend. Now press out again. Squeeze your stomach, you feel, and where you're going to do leg circles. So you circle the light. One, lift open, bottom tight, and stretch to up open.

Stretch three up open. Now you pull down, use your leg muscles. Good for one more time. Open, bottom tight, and five. Now reverse it open and one push. And to stretch those knees.

And three last one. Pull down, pull down, pull down, pull down and four and little stretch. Little stretch, little stretch, little stretch, little stretch, little stretch. Okay, come back up. Bend your knees, your feet come out. Put your feet down. Keep them tight. I'm going to bring them to here and put your hands down by your sides.

Now and just before you finish, I want you to keep your knees to the ceiling. Yes like that. Cause they have a tendency to fall. So I want you to concentrate here and I'm going to give your neck a little tiny bit of a stretch. So I want you with your hands to reach towards your feet. That's it. Just on the mat. You relax your head and I'm going to just lengthen.

So all I'm doing is tractioning the scowl just a little bit away. Pull your belly in. That's it. Reach your fingers towards your toes. That's it. So we get nice and long. And again, stu stretch. Oh, now I can feel her neck is beginning to e long gate does. How does that feel on your spine, Daniella? Okay, good. And one more time and stretch. Relax your head into my hands.

Relax it. Relax your neck there. There. I'm just going to turn your head a little bit and back and turn your head a little bit and back. Relax. Give me your head. Give me your head. Drop it, drop it. That's it. Now what happened to your knees? There's so much to think about. It's the knees, the head, the belly. Very good. Now relax your head down. Okay, so Daniella, you work very, very hard. Day One. This is just the beginning. So I hope you find this interesting. Very, it's a same work.

It's always the same work. Whether you're an athlete, whether you're learning to walk again, it's always the same. And the art is finding the level that the person can apply. Work hard, not too much, not too little. I hope you find this useful Gordon help somebody. That's why we're in the business. Bye for now.


1 person likes this.
Wonderful workout, specific to Daniella's needs. Again, you inspired me to incorporate some of those moves for my 90-year old client. Thanks, Niedra!
This is amazing ! I hope you will continue to show Danielle's progression Niedra :))
Niedra Gabriel
Hi Deborah, I will. Right now I work with Daniella at home as I have not found a studio where she has access with her wheel chair - within ease of where she lives. so we work at her home. Very simple, but it always mazes me how just the basics can make so much difference in the body.
Thank you, Niedra. I think this routine would be very beneficial for a friend I am trying to help who has Cervical Myeolopothy. She will love it! Thank you and keep it coming. And thank you Daniella, great work. ??
The ?? Should have shown thumbs up!!!
1 person likes this.
Wonderful to see how to work with a client with Daniella's needs. You are are an inspiration. Thanks for showing what CAN be done.
Niedra thank you for sharing this segment with Daniella. I am always amazed at how the practice of Pilates is so beneficial and healing for all levels of clients! I so appreciate the dedication you display with the clients you have worked with in your videos here on PA. I hope to see more of your work!
1 person likes this.
I find this so moving ... no pun intended. Truly the embodiment of caring for another.
Niedra Gabriel
Thank you all for your comments - this means a lot to me. And I extend my admiration to all of YOU - teachers sharing your knowledge. All teachers get trained because you want to help others - this is precious.
1 person likes this.
Daniella is a Pilates rock star! Niedra, your attention to detail is amazing, with clear and concise demonstration and explanation.
This is fascinating on so many levels, with reminders that there are always risks with surgery. Additionally shows the impact sitting has on the body, and it's not just the glutes that are impacted.
I hope you will be able to show more of your work with her.
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