Class #2541

Breath-Focused Wunda Chair

30 min - Class


Focus on your breath in this Wunda Chair workout with Amy Havens. She works on connecting diaphragmatic breathing to each exercise, so you can use it to stretch the back of your body. This will make more room for flexion as well as widen the thoraco-lumbar fascia in your back.
What You'll Need: Wunda Chair, Knee Pad

About This Video


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Hi everyone. I'm here for a chair workout. Only prop you're gonna need is possibly a kneeling pad for the soleus press exercise. So just for now, put that off to the side, starting with seated leg pumps. I've got medium springs, two on one side, one on the other. Before we get going in working the legs and get moving into the workout, place your hands on the sides of your ribs and not just focus lateral reading, although we know that's extremely important. I'm going to have you flip your hands and try to put your thumb just on the side, fingers on the back of your ribs and something like this so that we can focus this class and our breathing more diaphragmatically back. And I said that in my last class or a couple of classes recently, we, I think we're very tuned into breathing laterally and we cue posterior breathing a lot. But let's think about the muscle of the diaphragm, the diaphragm muscle as it's back that the power of it stretching to the back of us and really widening this Thoracolumbar Fascia, uh, having a little more room for flection.

So those of us that are a little bit revue with the ribs forward, um, this might be a really great thing for you, for me. Um, and also just to breathe, just connecting to your breath. Of course, our number one principle. Okay. So let's just do five breaths together here. Inhaling through your nose and exhale, feeling that side, but back breathing, big expansion and exhale. So with every exercise today, try to put yourself in this mindset that we're breathing back. Okay? Two more. Well, we can do that without shortening the height of our spine. In fact, it'll probably gain a little height if we're doing it fully. Okay, let's go ahead and place our heels parallel today on the pedal.

I want you to start with a pedal all the way down. Fingertips are going to be lightly up on top of the seat, open up your shoulders, and that's a great place right away to check. Are you throwing the ribs forward or can you bring them back? So inhale right now into the back ribs and here we go. Exhale, pull that pedal up. Inhale down, exhale, pull up. And so even if the breathing and the movement tempo goes quicker, see if you can find the quality, oh every inhale and to get your heels to pull up towards your seat and one more and push all the way down. Let's change to the balls of the feet. Fingertips still behind heels, just slightly lifted. Take a moment. Inhale here. Exhale.

Again, we're trying to keep those sitz bones right in the same place on top of the seat. Flexing those hip joints. Yes, you're going to feel your hip flexors, but we know pass into the middle of your body. Think about your exhale that you're almost turning to ring oh bleak to obliques and now you've got this front line connection. Lot of things to think about. [inaudible] one more. Lift and push the pedal down. Let's go to Palazzos v, take your arms around to the genie position. Take a moment where the ribs inhale here, and exhale.

I really want you to flex your hip joins. Pull that pedal as high as you can. Turn to get your heels higher up to your seat lift, and that'll happen in frog facing front a little later and single leg pumps that'll come in a minute. [inaudible] one more and lower down. Okay, let's go ahead and lift the pedal turn, stand up and turn around. This is where you're going to need your kneeling pad. Just set that right on the front edge. That's where your knee cap goes.

So let me get in position here. So I'm in position now and feel free to put your fingertips on your chair. You can stand up a little higher and put those arms in Jeanie position. Again, you can take them out to the sides. You certainly also could take your hands behind your head. Either one is any of those choices are fine. Start with your ankle inflection.

Here's our inhale. We're going to press that pedal down during the inhale phase and exhale as you pull the pedal up. So how can you connect the diaphragmatic breathing with this exercise every time that spring opens up? Perhaps it's this lengthening expansion right through this Fascia here. And exhale [inaudible].

Okay. And X a. Pull the pedal up. Let's move it a little faster down and lift, leaning slightly into that pad, trying to have your heel stay right behind your ankle. Nine and using the whole foot as much as you can. 10 and release. Okay. Changing sides. Pedal goes up quietly. Stepping down, slide the pad, step up.

Okay. And then just finding that nice set up again. The back heel firmly on the ground. Hips are his squares. You can, I'm going to stand up into Jeanie in heel. Pedal down. [inaudible] so although the inner thighs aren't touching ad duct energetically, so you are feeling the work in the owes inner thighs along with the quad home with the ankles and calves. But some of us may feel this hip flexor stretch occurring on the straight leg. Some of you may feel an ankle stretch on your standing foot.

Inhale, exhale, push. Pull that pedal up. Use that anterior Shin Muscle. Pull that up. Let your ankle glide back one more. Okay, so we're ready for some single leg pumping. So come on around. Let's take the pad away. We don't need that single leg. I'm going to lighten my springs just a tad. Okay, so I'm taking one side all the way down to the bottom.

So now both sides for me are on the low side. Here we go. Sitting down. Let's go all the way to the bottom. Again on our heels, balls a feet actually. And I want you to put your fingertips on your hip joints and, and squeeze your hip flexors for a second. Okay? So as you step onto one foot, lift the other thigh from your hip joint. Hold that position. It's okay to feel your hip flexors.

We want strong hip flexors. What? They'll help us with. So many exercises. It's not that we're not using these abdominals. Of course we are. They're paired together. I want you to lift your thigh three times and two and three, hold it and extend from your knee to your foot. Bend the knee and step to the pedal. Let's do that on the other side.

So I'm pressing down through my right foot. Hit flexing three times here. Contract the hip flexors one pull up to pull up three hole. Now hold the thigh there. See if you can extend your knee from that position without collapsing your posture and stepping down. Let's add onto that other side. Pull the foot up one and the thigh pulls up two and three extend.

Now it stays there. Reach forward, pull your thigh back, reach your energy foot forward. And the pumping now occurs on the other side. And Five I'm going to 10, six and seven. Try to find all ranges of motion here and nine and 10 press it down and return the foot. Okay, so here we go. Hit flection three times. Really get that deeper. Extend the thigh hold now the pedal pull that paddle up from deep inside the abdominals. I'm also thinking heel to butt.

Four and five six reaching through the arms and seven holding the posture. Eight and nine and 10 that's uneasy. Okay. Set the feet down. Lower your arms, change the foot position in your leg. Position to externally rotated. Palladia Zvi if you'd want to think about that. Knee should be still within the frame of your chair. Okay, similar work.

Pick up one thigh. Now think about lifting more from your inner thigh. I'm going to actually put my hands on my inner thigh. And if I had strings like marionette puppet strings, it's like that sensation. So it's not the whole pelvis moving, it's just the femur in the socket. Okay? Same thing. Now try to extend from your knee.

Rebend I'm shaking and put the foot down. So the other side, lift and hold. Increased the hip flection and you're pulling up one sting even on your sit bones. Two pulling up. Three extend from your knee to your foot and rebend in. Let's add the same pattern. Okay, so lift and hold three lifts. We have one and two and three and extend that leg stays there.

You pull up the other for 10 Nah, let's add a little movement of the arm. So the arms reaching up may help your ribs lift up out of your pelvis. Six, seven, eight, nine 10 and change sides. Second leg pulling up one hip flex two. So when the adductors three and extend and here we go. Hold the leg strong from your hip. And the pump. One three start adding some porter Ros and movement of the arms and five, keep the spine tall and seven and eight and nine and 10 and let's rest everyone come down. Okay. Close your knees. One foot on the ground, let the pedal up.

We're going to come around for hamstring stretch one. I want lighter springs for this, so I think I'll have one side on the second notch. The second hook, the other side goes away completely like so standing in front of your chair, but a foot distance away. Take a moment with feet slightly apart. Still thinking of the inner thighs coming toward your midline.

Just take the arms up. Breathing in here, there's that. Die For matic. Stretch the suit again and, and rounding the body forward. Place your hands on the pedal. Take a moment. You just shift your weight forward. Let your head drop, continue moving the springs. Inhaling and exhale pulling up as you round your lower back into the c curve. Inhale does stretch that Dyer from wide.

Exhale and left. Keep checking that you can adjust your body weight less on your heel. More forward of your ankle. It could feel like you're going to fall forward. That's often the right spot to be in. You won't fall. And if you do, you do push down. Exhale, pull up.

Three more. Inhale, inner thighs towards each other. And lift. Last one. So we've done some flection, we've done some seated extension, we've done some leg work. Let's come down and get into our back muscles a little differently from prone. Let's go prone. So we're going to swan on the floor. I'm still on this second spring from the bottom. So middle on the chair here.

Put your poems up on top. Take just a moment to stretch. Feel yourself that you're stretching your head almost toward the crown of the head, toward the pedal. Your spine, down to your tail, down to your toes. You can get both directions there. Okay. And then lastly, before we get to do the Swan, I want you to address that diaphragmatic area in your back. So right now I'm not doing what I said I was gonna do at the beginning of class. So if I address that, you might've seen a subtle change.

I'm trying to fill up that lower back for myself and noxious. Let it get short. Okay, so here we go. That's our inhale. Bring those shoulder blades into your back ribs and start to walk your eyes, nose, chin, chest. Of course, the back muscles do change the higher we get, but I'm trying to keep that integrity of that breathing. Let's exhale to come down. I'm going to use a full breathing pattern here. Exhale, press down on the pedal. Lift up through the spine, energy through the legs. Inhale and X. I'm gonna do three more. Just keeping it simple.

No extra patterns. Exhale and lift low belly up off the floor, chest reaching forward. Inhale, start to lift. Your pedal stretches you come down last too. Exhale. [inaudible] can tell.

My shoulder range is improved with every repetition my head got closer to the ground. Maybe something that you can work on for yourself. And let's see. So it takes a few repetitions sometimes to get those stretches. There we go, and all the way down. So for the thoracic spine to gain a little more flexibility, your chest may end up a little lower by the end there. Okay, let's move on. So back into the abdominal, some more hip joint work.

Turn yourself over on your back. You can do to one of two things. You can put your hands on the side edges of the chair here or all the way up top. This is maybe a little harder, more challenging. So I'm going to try that and I'm going to begin with my legs up now. Chest lift. So, and this maybe a interesting little position here. Let's pretend we're in mat class doing double leg stretch.

So I'm actually gonna refold my legs inhale and a long at your legs from you and exhale as you hold them in. Okay, so you know if I were in mat and doing that with the arms, well right now they're just going to stay back in a fixed position while we challenge our breathing. Inhale into your back, onto the ground. Exhale, pull it in to more, inflate your back to the floor and exhale, pull in. And last time. Let's just take a little neck rest and we'll go up for straight leg. Lower lift. Bring your legs up first. Inhale into your back.

Exhale, bring your chest up. I'm going to go parallel with flex feed. As I inhale, reach down, point the feet. Exhale, pull up five times flex like you're trying to reach, and pull your heels down the wall that's in front of you. Exhale, lift three more inflating your back to the floor. So you may not be taking your legs as low. Please only go as low as you feel like you've got your back in control on your mat. Down and lift. Let's re bend the knees, give your neck one more rest. Inhale into your back. Exhale legs up and all the way.

So you're a little scissor today with flex feed in parallel, so pool and pool pool, and try to square the hips with each movement you do. And Seven and eight more today, and one in her thighs. Brush. Nice and close together. And for three, so our dominoes are nice and ready for Jackknife or rollover. Okay. Before we do. Let's do a tabletop like position.

Integrate those abdominals. Inhale into your back body and just do a little coxix curl a couple, three times just to get the movement. Taking your pelvis into that posterior diagonal there. That position. Okay, let's take her legs to the sky and go into our rollover. Min Pilati is v. Take a breath into your back.

Notice how that might actually help lift you up and hopefully you roll over. You could do this on the mat. Now I want you to lift your legs a little higher. I haven't changed the position on my upper back. I'm going to begin rolling down from here. I don't want to pull the chair. I don't want to push on it. I'm holding it down the spine. I'm gonna lower my legs, so my challenge point, I'm going to do two more of these. Inhale into my back.

Exhale up and Halan did the back annex. He'll begin to roll down. Everyone has a different shape and the exercise. Do what's working for your body. Inhale into your back. Exhale, inhale, and exhale. We're going to come down for a little tick talk, find yourself in level pelvis. This one I will do parallel when a tip over to one hip.

Hold your position. Be honest with this physician that you're not cheating with your shoulders or bending your elbows and come back. Okay. To the other side, we know that this top foot hip has to reach a little bit further, so in essence the ankle stay in the same spatial relationship to the other side. Inhale into your back. Exhale, return to the center, inhale into the other side of your back and XL center. Let's see what happens if we do a little corkscrew after this next round because we've certainly to warm up and deepen into those oblique relationships. I'm going to roll over now. Again, inhaling, exhale up over.

Now you pick what side of your spine to roll down on. Okay, I'm rolling down the right side of my spine, taking a nice deep breath in. Place the hip to a small circle. Exhale up and over. I just made a choice to move my hands. Inhale to the left, low back. Exhale around. Ah, knowing when to make a choice.

So I had to move my hands so that I wouldn't pull the chair left side. Exhale round one more each direction, all the way around Oi and rolling down the center. And when we finish this, let's please her knees and tabletop and just let your arms rest for a second please. Your feet down. Okay, let's move on into sub seated tricep press exercises. Okay, so receded reach behind, put your hands on your pedal, separate your feet and your knees about sits bones with the part and just take a moment to open your shoulders and your chest and try to pull your elbows closer behind your back. Okay. This is another great place to try to breathe into your back. Instead of throw the ribs forward, bring your front ribs to your back ribs.

And all I want us to do literally is just bend the elbow, straighten the elbows just up and down, kind of getting some the bearing of weight, your body weight into your arms. Press lower, press lower, less. Press up one more time and stay. Okay. Pelvis is going into a pelvic tilt. There's a c curve and an aim. My knees are this wall that's right in front of me and my thighs toward the wall, my hip joints toward that wall and my chest open. Squeezing the glutes quite a bit.

Take a breath here and as you contract your abdominals, bring your chin down. What if you flex so much? You could put your hips right back on that pedal, or pretty well close. One more time. Push the pedal down and breathe in. Exhale, press up. Curl the pelvis going underneath those thighs left on a nice long stretch of your hip flexors here. Okay, let's go into back support. We're kind of ready for it. Step one foot forward.

Step the other foot forward and hold. Now I want to imagine that my back is reaching toward the pedal or the chair seat, so my upper spine. When I come down, I just want to flex at the hip joints. Bring my hips down, release the spring a little. Let's do it again. As I lift my hips, I'm feeling my heels. Press Down my upper spine, reaching back for the chair seat. Push the pedal down. Return by flexing the hips. We'll just do this one more time. Everybody press it down. Feel free to add some leg lifts if you'd like to. I'm content just here.

Sometimes that's harder for me anyway and flex all the way down. Okay. Okay. We warmed up our upper body. Let's come up for some seated side bend stretch and then do some more weight-bearing bat for seated side bend. I'm adjusting my springs. I need a little more weight, so put some on the other side. I've got two actually up on the middle that's going to prep me and give me enough for the Oblique Pike, which we'll do next.

Let's sit on the chair because you and your legs. We did all that hip flexor work in on the leg pumps, so there should be ready here to hold up your legs. Take one arm up by your ear, the other arm down by the springs. Take a breath and as you exhale I want you to go over for a moment and just pause in your stretch. Take another inhale into this open rib side, especially into the back ribs. Inhale the springs longer.

If you can and exhale it out five times. Inhale, let that be the lateral posterior breathing. Inhale, stretch. Exhale. Return both angles on the same line and lift. One more time. Inhale over and exhale all the way up and sit. Just spin around to the other side. Yes, here we go.

One arm up the other arm down by your pedal. Inhale, tall side bend over. Take a moment. That open rib side is your EP opportunity. Inhale, side and back. So Katie, pitch the torso slightly forward. I'd rather you do that. Then lean back, leaning back is going to shorten your back muscles. We want some length back there. Reach one last time. All right, so we've since done some stretch for the obliques that's come in and do some pike inside. Foot forward, outside foot behind, hands on this front edge. Okay.

Shoulders stay over. Hands. Pelvis goes into that round position. Lumbar spine is inflection. Pick a breath into your back. Exhale, pull the pedal up. So do five times. You're not going to go all the way down to the bottom. You're going to let it hover. That's an inhale.

Keep pushing. The arms like you're trying to push. The chair lowers your the floor. Inhale, pedal down. Exhale it up. One more, all the way down, all the way up and now completely down. Let's pivot to face the other side. So the inside foot is the front foot, outside foot. Behind hands are square, shoulders are square. Elvis is square. Inhale into your back ribs.

Exhale, push the arms down. Feel like you're bringing a bleak to a bleak, right to left sides. And again, five times total exhale or you still didn't that diaphragmatic breathing. You weren't a shoulder blades apart nice and wide. Last time and down frog facing front. Face your chair. Step to the ground for a moment. Reset things if you need. Okay. Hands in the front corners, step on your pedal. And I'd like us to do a play on the pedal and open your hips.

So if you can't clear the edges of the chair, do the best you can. You could stick them inside, but challenge yourself to go open. Okay. He'll stay together. Lean into your arms, open your chest. This is our inhale. We're pulling that pedal up. Use Your glutes, pick your heels up towards your seat to open those knees away from the chair. Inhale down.

Inhale into your back. [inaudible] knees away from the chair. Try not to feel your body. Touch it at all. Use those rotators. Last one and lower. Maybe I look like a frog. I'm not sure. Okay. Couple more exercises. We're winding up or doing teaser and um, let's go light. All right, so then we had two on two. Let's go one side on two teaser your time. Here we go. Sit on your sit on your chair.

Place your hands at the front. Let's contract our abdominals. Get into a little c curve and see if you can get back on your coxix. But above that more on your sacrum. Okay, so you've got some space here. Not a lot, a little bit. Bring your knees in. Okay. I just have to wiggle a little.

Extend your legs up into your [inaudible] stance, unlocking the knees deep in that diaphragmatic breathing and just float your arms. Do this float. Okay. Hold the legs there. Bend those elbows. You're in that back support position with the tricep press his, this is kind of it. Sneak the hands to the pedal. Remember, it's fairly light. You've got to control this. Lower the pedal. I'm thinking about pressing my triceps to the back wall as I leave.

My legs are right where they are. Getting onto that sacrum and exhaling, control the return. Just two more times. Like I'm pressing my triceps back to the back wall. Helping to Elongate my spine. Exhaling up. Can I do a dye for medic? Bret, can I breathe it all in here and exhale. It's hard. Reach up to the teaser. Okay. Winding Noun.

Let's do a nice, um, spirally stretch. So I'm just going to turn and face, but one knee over the front. Take yourself into a beautiful side bend. Just let it feel good. Okay. What I'm going to add to this is opening the torso up. Open, open, open, open, open, even open your fingers. Let's go the other way. Round this way. This hand is going to touch the other hand. Maybe go beyond and trying to get a bigger spiral. Let's do a full breath.

[inaudible] we're three dimensional beings thinking about doing this inside a large physio ball. Trace your fingertips around the inside of that ball. [inaudible] last one. And then of course we faced the other way. Should feel pretty good. Oh, go beyond that other wrist last time on the other side. Arm comes up, side bending over. Begin hail there and then we go. Axial have to this guy.

Inhale and just breathe as you to everybody and you've kind of gotten the picture throughout class. Opportunity to think about the breath more often. That inhale is that nice sense of expansion and there's strength in expansion. A little further. Last two, my pedals moving a lot. It doesn't matter. I'm moving so it probably should move. Okay. Last time. Big Opening. [inaudible] and exhale. Let's all just finish sitting on the chair.

I'm gonna let the pedal go and I'm just gonna sit for a moment. Hi, my breath, my heart rate. Come down just a little bit. Find a little calm. You've been without moving your limbs. You could try to continue that diaphragmatic breathing with focus. Holidays is not just about our abdominals, is the relationship of everything inside and with each other. So you know, the, hopefully your spine feels a little bit more resilient and open in your lower back. Thank you very much.


8 people like this.
Love the new different camera angles! Thank you Amy always enjoy your insightful style of teaching.
3 people like this.
Your work is fantastic. I really enjoy your cuing and subtle moves to take the exercises to the next level.
1 person likes this.
Thank you Ami for this lovely class.
Sharon O
1 person likes this.
Really enjoyed this chair sequence and variations. Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Thanks, Amy, for yet another wonderful class! I so needed this today.
2 people like this.
Thanks, great class and, yes, the camera angles were an added bonus!
Thanks everyone!!!
1 person likes this.
Impeccable cues. Masterful.
1 person likes this.
Thank you Amy for the wonderful class. I agree the new use of camera angles is very helpful. I have a question about Teaser. Once I flex my spine into the starting position, should maintain that spine flexion throughout the exercise? I believe that is what you did. When I come up I should not make it my goal to extend my spine and feel a flat back? Thank you amy for your help and the class.
Thank you Amy....speechless with your honesty in this feedback.
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