Class #2926

Technique and Precision

45 min - Class


Work on maintaining technique and precision in this Reformer workout with Cathleen Murakami. This is the second class in her progression, where she adds different breathing patterns to challenge the coordination of movement with breath. As she did in the previous class, she focuses on finding where each movement initiates, where they are stabilized, and finding the contrast.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

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Welcome back to Reformer Progressions. I told you there was a lot more, so I'm back today again with Manuel, we have Christie joining us, so we're gonna have double the pleasure and double the fun, right? Yeah. Right! So we're starting out with foot and legwork again. I have three red springs on here for Christie, and the same for Manuel.

So I'm gonna ask them to lie down and we're gonna start out with just a little slightly different breathing pattern which will challenge your coordination of your legs with your breath. So let's start out in the classic position of Pilates V which is the heels together and the toes on the bar, or the ball of the foot on the bar, remember that side angle foot bar helps you keep the angle. What we're going to do is inhale out and in, and exhale out and in with the legs. All right we still keep it clean, but we're just gonna add a little bit of challenging coordination there. Ready, and...

Inhale and inhale and exhale and exhale. Inhale and inhale; exhale and exhale. Number three, be sure you fully extend your legs straight without snapping. And four and return and four and return. Last time five, return, and out and return.

Pivot to parallel with the feet together on the ball of the foot... Can I lift your feet? Oh, she's giving me a bicep workout here. (laughing) Lower the heels a little bit, that's it. Let me lift and move your feet, let me lift and move your feet, there you go.

Okay, next set, and... Inhale inhale, exhale exhale. So the speed and tempo are a little faster, the technique and precision are not lost. We still want to fully extend the knees, yes. The legs are not wobbling in and out, right and left, so equal work between the inner thigh and the lateral hip.

This is number four breath (breathing deeply). One last time, elasticizing the lungs and diaphragm, good. Open the legs now, let's go onto the heels, onto the heels. There we go, I'm gonna just slide you down. So I'd like the heels along the talus, yeah.

Make sure you really anchor that tailbone down. Same tempo without feeling like you're losing any precision and breathe in, in, out, out. Same questions as from the previous progression: where's your movement initiated from? Where is your movement stabilized? And where is your contrast?

So a little layering of directive. This is our last one. (breathing deeply) Great, feet to parallel, ball of the foot, come all the way together. So I might adjust you a little bit, don't push down on your feet, there you go. I should say, avoid. (laughs) Avoid pressing onto the foot when I'm trying to move them. (laughing) Let's do tendon stretches like this, so if you would please fully straighten your legs. One inhale down and up, (deep breath) one exhale down and up. (deep breath) Inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale.

As I mentioned in the first progression, the reach under the bar is not so much like a stretch or a drop, so the hamstrings really need to pull up in opposition to the heel lowering. Keep that breath long. (deep breath) Avoid gripping the toes, that's it. (laughing) Free toes! Last inhale inhale, and exhale exhale. Last one inhale inhale, and exhale exhale. And we bend to return.

I will remove one red spring for them. We're moving onto single leg circle, and... Single leg circle, I'm sorry, single leg with leg circle. I'm gonna relax your ankle a little bit, yeah. The gesturing leg is under the bar to start.

Under the bar to start. And when you return, you have to re-insert it under the bar, so be careful, because sometimes on the way back, you'll forget and you'll just ride the springs, and then you go in and you might stub your toe, which might not be fun. All right, so we'll go slow to start, all right. So as you extend with the right leg, the left leg goes up, that's your inhale, one exhale the circle, one inhale the circle, the exhale brings you back under the bar, and breathe in reach, exhale sweep, and sweep, and return. Avoid letting those hips roll side to side, so maybe not too wide with the circles.

And reach under... (deep breath) And around, and around, and exhale. Number five... Number five, reach it out, I'm glad somebody's keeping track around here. (laughs) Around and come underneath. (laughs) All right, let's change sides. Another thing I'd like to mention here, which I'm not sure if you can see from the camera, but traditionally you put the foot that's on the foot bar really in line with the sit bone, and I actually put the foot just a hair lateral. And the reason for this is normally when you stand to balance on one leg, you will move your weight over there, and your foot is in alignment with your sit bone.

You're never gonna stand like this on one leg, you're gonna fall over. But when you're working here on the reformer, you have nowhere to fall, and what happens with the foot just slightly wider than that, you will actually feel this lateral hip and your inner thigh, if you focus there, work a smidge more to keep you on your foot. I hope that made sense. So adjust your leg under the bar, okay, pause, organize your mind just to a little bit of what I added in there, and we inhale to extend, sweep one, sweep the other way two, and breathe out, that's it. And inhale, exhale one, inhale two, and breathe out.

And reach, and over, roll this in a little bit, and around, and reach under, I think that's three (laughs). I think if I create a Pilates counter for repetitions, I could retire. (laughs) Like those pedometer things, you know, right? Two more (laughing), no no no no. And reach, and then relax, very nice. Now we're gonna reach back for the straps.

If you haven't changed your spring already, I changed it to one red for arms on abs, we're adding on to our progression, it's gonna get a smidge more interesting, so the arms'll come to the ceiling, the legs are in tabletop, superglue those inner thighs together. All right, only the arms on the inhale all the way flat, (deep breath) exhale, stretch the legs, curl up into the hundred position, curl up into the hundred position, good, reach reach reach, hold it there, breathe in (deep breath), hold it there breathe out (deep breath). Bend only the knees. (deep breath) Lie down with control, exhale, pause, repeat. Arms only inhale. (deep breath) Curl forward with the legs and the head at the same time, exhale, hold it there, inhale, hold it there, exhale. (deep breath) Only the knees, inhale, lie down with control, exhale. Only the arms, inhale. (deep breath) Reach forward with the legs, curl up curl up curl up, reach the arms, reach the arms, reach the arms, good.

Hold here. This time, for that extra breath, inhale. (deep breath) And exhale, beautiful. Only the knees, inhale. (deep breath) And lie down with control, exhale, repeat that again. Arms only, only, only the arms touch. Curl forward with the head and reach the legs, exhale.

Split the legs a little bit, press them shut. Only the knees. (deep breath) And only, down, last time I promise. Arms, inhale, exhale curl forward, reach reach reach... Press the legs apart, press the legs together. Stay stay stay, oh stay stay stay! And knees bend, inhale, lie down on your exhale.

(laughing) Mean lady! Hang up your straps, hang up your straps. (laughing) All right, we will do reverse abdominals. Reverse abdominals, so may I ask you to come upright... Okay. (deep breath) Yes, we want to go and make a wish out there, and jump with dolphins. If you might recall from our last progression, we did this single leg, and then we did two legs, and the arms were helping you a little bit. We will assume the position today of two legs again, but instead of the arms helping by pulling, the arms will help by pressing.

So that's the position. We're gonna do both legs, and then we're also gonna add diagonal. So I'm gonna put the foot bar down and we do not have the foot stopper, so you will have to hold your own head for a while. Please place your bottom forward toward the shoulder rest, put the straps around your legs right above the knees, and scoot your bum forward, forward toward the shoulder rest and then lie back, so take your time. Yes, scooch really, closer, there you go.

And if you need to hang your head back for this part, it's totally fine, all right? Okay here we go, so you're really close, all right. Bring the legs up please to tabletop, remember there's a fist's distance between the thighs, but the feet remain together, all right. Curl forward, Manuel, curl forward, good. Now, release the hands from your head, and bring them around and place them against the shoulder rest.

This is why, see your bum needs to be a little bit closer. Yeah. Yeah, there you go. And get the legs, don't have them touch though, don't have them touch, I want your legs a little bit away, perpendicular here, and then pressing with the fingertips, pressing with the fingertips so that you use your shoulder blades, okay? So curl forward, bend your elbows, yes.

And inhale draw the knees toward you toward you toward you, exhale, lengthen, lengthen, pause. Slowly breathe in (deep breath) and exhale slow slow slow, just to here, really tiny. Inhale (deep breath), exhale (deep breath), and inhale, this is number three, exhale. Work that exhale, one more, very tiny movement. Super breath, exhale, very good.

Okay, you can rest your head back, take a break on that neck. (panting) Okay, break over. (laughing) Curl forward, curl forward, the diagonal, all right so curl on up, all right? Let's cross the left hand to the right shoulder, left hand to the right shoulder, other left hand, uh-huh. Rotate to the right, your right arm will reach on a diagonal, you want to reach here and curl up, and turn to the right, turn your body, rotate, okay? So just stay right here. Hold your upper body position, legs come in on the inhale.

Exhale slow, inhale pull, exhale slow. Check your knee distance, remember, just a fist between the knees, inhale. That means your inner thighs are working working working, good, and one more inhale (deep breath), exhale slowly away, can you change sides right away? Cross over, rotate that torso, pull the knees in, breathe in, (deep breath) breathe in and exhale (deep breath), good. Inhale, so close those legs, close those legs, exhale, number two, last two...

And yep, and last one, and breathe all your air out out out out out, and put your feet down and take a break. Wow (sighing). Was that a winner? Mm-hmm. Yes it is.

(laughing loudly) They both agreed, it's unanimous. They want to do it again, no okay. Let's remove the straps, I'll help you there, you can do the other one and let me help Christie on one, there you go, and we're going to now bring yourselves upright and off of the reformer, and let us add on a red spring. So we have two red springs for a little tiny bit of foot in the strap work. Bring your headrests back up, okay.

And if you could please lie down and put your feet in the straps, that'd be great. I'll bring the foot bar up so you have something to rest on, there you go, and I'll bring this up for you. All right, beautiful. So let's alternate the leg arcs from parallel to the small v so we're just warming up those hip sockets, we breathe, let's change the breath, too. How about exhaling today, and then inhaling down, and then exhaling open to that small v, open to the small v, yep, and return.

So we just alternate, yeah? Parallel (deep breath), and center (deep breath), and opening up, there you go, that's all right. It looks good, it looks coordinated in opposition. And up, that's it, and lower. And again, your small v, probably for all of you, not much wider than the carriage itself, and if you want to be a little more conservative, maybe just your shoulder girdle distance.

Beautiful, last one, very nice. Parallel walking, so your legs will stay parallel, bend one knee, it comes towards you, the other leg stays straight, it comes up, good, and then straight down to where you started. (deep breath). The other side (deep breath), mm-hmm. So the challenge is to keep the pressure, slow it down a little bit Manuel, in the strap of the knee that's bending. Breathe in bend, don't let the knee open up, parallel the leg, and exhale, and then parallel the leg.

Yes, I know the strap sort of gets in the way, I know. But it will roll somewhere out of the way, and here. Little brain teaser... You turn the legs out, you're in that small Pilates v. The legs will still come towards you, towards the chest, but you just happen to be in external rotation.

So let's bend the right knee, right knee only, the leg will come up, that's it, and then you come back and the heels will touch together. And then the second side, yep. And return, so what's the challenge here? That pelvis, it's going to want to do the Elvis. (laughs) It's gonna want to rock and roll. Because the pressure you're reaching into the strap, you'll be tempted for it to change.

So again, you're working to keep the energy in the bones reaching through the feet all the time. (deep breath) Good, let's just do one more like this. (deep breath) That's it, very nice. Regular circles, parallel the legs up, (deep breath) and sweep it around (deep breath). Pause here, reverse it right away, inhale (deep breath) and right down the middle (deep breath) and up, energy streaming through to the spine out of the crown of the head, and then from the spine through the pelvis through the legs. (deep breath) And once more in each direction. (deep breath) And sweep, (deep breath) and around, and press down.

All righty, are we ready for short spine? (laughs) We're ready, we're ready, yes, two circles and a snap. Head rest down please. We're going to do a brand spanking new version of short spine that you all know and love. So as we breathe in, the legs will fold, the carriage moves, we begin to peel upright into the inverted position, that's it. We bend the knees on the inhale, open up to little diamond shape, as we exhale, the spine rolls away from the peet, feet...

Feet peet feet peet, (laughing) and she's breathing out. We inhale and bring the feet down toward the buttocks, the tailbone lands, the exhalation extends the legs, that was gorgeous, and let's repeat. Inhale (deep breath) and exhale, bring yourself up, it's like you're just sliding up an escalator, that's it. Inhale to bend the knees, and as you bend the knees, make your spine upside down grow taller. As you exhale, the feet stay over the face, you roll the spine away from the feet, as long as you can.

When you can't move anymore, pull gently the straps, the bottom rolls down, that's your in breath. The exhalation exits out your feet. Nice, one more time. (deep breath) And peel, peel, peel, peel, peel... That's it, lengthen, breathe and bend, exhale, roll that spine away from your feet, away from your head. Tailbone lands, draw the feet down to the buttocks, inhale, exhale, and exit energy out of the legs.

That was gorgeous, all righty. We will take the straps off the feet carefully, descend and reach your foot toward the foot bar. We're changing now to a short box series, so you'll need to roll off your reformer and get your short box. Your foot bar will come down. Okay, your foot bar will come down, and we are going to first start out with the box forward.

Okay, if you're a little taller like Manuel is, the foot box will be a bit further back, so Manuel's box is about here, Christie's is gonna be a little bit more forward. Both of them are going to sit down with the foot underneath their foot strap. So if you could face this way, you know what, your box is a little crooked. If you'd like to secure your carriage little bit, you may. Or you can also, let's move this...

You can keep the springs loose so that you can monitor yourself as to how much you're pushing off of your feet, which is sometimes a little way to cheat. (laughing) We're gonna move forward, move forward forward forward... All right, very nice, so remember 1975 waistband, that's where we're coming down to. We're gonna stack the arms, we're upping the ante this round so that means a little bit more challenge, are you up for the challenge, darling? Let's do it.

Let's do it. Breathe in, grow up your spine. Exhale, curl back to 1975, yes. Stay here, breathe in, don't fall back, and as you exhale, lift your elbows, lift your elbows, breathe out, keep your body still, lift your elbows, lift your elbows, lift your elbows. Yes, yes, yes, let me see your armpits! Big smile, inhale, lower your elbows, exhale.

Curl all the way up. Now, I remember when I learned this from Alan Herdman, and Alan had me roll back and made me stay here a really long time, like a really long time. So long that one of the other teachers thought that he was being crazy to me. Alan Herdman... Inhale, (laughs) exhale, peel back, peel back.

So it's a lengthening, you're pulling out here, and then you breathe in, as you exhale the arms come back, maybe like that even, whoa. Inhale to lower, exhale and roll forward forward forward forward and come all the way up, good. Scooch forward just a little bit more on your bum, scooch forward with your body, yeah. And inhale, (deep breath), exhale, curve back, that's it. Remember, not to the point of strain.

Inhale, lift the elbows, stay here, exhale, stretch those arms, woooh! Inhale and bend, maybe the other direction, lower the elbows, exhale, curl forward and up, beautiful. Rotate towards each other. Just, no no, stay like this, just turn towards each other. (laughing) All right, inhaling, as you exhale you're gonna curl down that side of your spine, so you're just going on a diagonal. Watch the shoulder of the top side, yep.

Inhale, ta-da, peek-a-boo! (deep breath) Oh, my gosh, and exhale, curl forward. (laughing) We don't have any fun here. (Christie laughs) Turn away from each other, don't look. Inhale and roll down the side of your spine, Oh, Christie, you can look at yourself, gosh. And then, peek-a-boo, aha, that's the breath. Lower the elbows, inhale, curl forward on the exhale, I guess we just have to look at each other one more time.

(laughing) Roll back, monitor that your knees stay in the middle. Inhale, arms out, reach, exhale, stretch. Bring them back, breathe in, and lower your elbows, exhale, curl up. (all laughing) Thanks, Alan, yes, and one more. That's it, that's it, that's it. And if you're fatiguing, just don't roll back as far.

Breathe in, exhale, reach the arms, beautiful. And fold up, breathe, and exhale to curl forward, and all the way up. (sighs) We're all visualizing Alan now, with love. (laughing) Now we will stand up. I'd like you to move your box back for tree, so we're going to move that all the way back, and actually, Manuel, yours is gonna come over. No no, keep it down, this way over the top.

And let's do it here. So because of his height, we're moving the box a bit further back from the foot bar. And now, please sit on the box in the middle, one leg only into... Actually, I'm sorry, let me back up. Before you decide where to sit on your box, you need a hand and a half width from your bottom to the edge, because when you roll back, you absolutely need to have the sacrum on your box for safety.

Otherwise it will shear, so measure. You have at least a hand and a half's width for your body, and then please insert your right foot in the foot strap with the leg straight. The heel will be probably near the frame. And then you're up nice and tall, okay. The strap will hook and secure you.

So please take ahold of your left knee, single leg stretch position. So that would be the outside hand on the ankle, that's it. And you can lean back just a little, lean back and hook in, there we go. Lean back a little bit, and then as you exhale, curl under, take the knee with you, the leg energy reaching here, here's your contrast. You can clearly see it and clearly feel it.

Pause, breathe in, organize the upper torso, and curl forward and come all the way back upright upright upright. Keep your knee lifted, inhale, and again, as you exhale curve back. And just check, are you death-gripping your leg, or are you just posing? It should look a bit like a pose. Hold there and breathe (deep breath) and exhale and return forward, and come all the way back up, beautiful, okay.

Now, we can stretch the leg here, just to check the hamstring, go ahead, breathe in. It does not have to necessarily straighten. Exhale and bend, try that twice more. For me it's more important the position of the spine than the straightening of the leg, okay? So really feel the length through the extended leg under the strap and through the spine, and that's number three and fold that, okay.

So we have some length, we take the leg with us. Okay, we're going to breathe in. We will curl back, curl back, curl back, curl back. Let's keep going, let's keep going, reach the head back, go ahead, reach, beautiful, roll your chin to your chest, inhale, square your shoulders, exhale, curl all the way up. Feel the length of your spine.

Stretch the leg again, (deep breath) admire your toes (laughs) and bend. And again, reach. (deep breath) And bend, nice... See, I'm working really hard here, (laughs) and bend. Let's try one more of the full roll back. Inhale, and exhale, and remember you're reaching through the other leg as though someone is gently pulling the heel.

Open and extend that upper back, that's it. Roll the chin to the chest, inhale. Use the abdominals, curl back forward and up, and finish with a beautiful chest, and then rest, and we change sides. (sigh) Get yourself right in the middle. So just reorganize yourselves. Sometimes, this exercise, you end up kind of swiveling on the box.

So just check that your midline is lined up with the middle of your carriage. Check to make sure you have the room for your sacrum behind you for safety. And you have the outside hand on the ankle, and sit super-tall. And we prepare, we just roll back three times, we're not going all the way back yet. And we curl, (deep breath), take the knee with you like it's your BFF (deep breath) and exhale, curl forward, and up, beautiful.

Inhale, and again, asking yourself, where is there movement initiated from? Feel it, you'll know it. And where is your movement stabilized from? And come up, and clearly you can feel where you have contrast. This is number three, nice, beautiful.

And curl forward and all the way up. The leg stretch, and release, and two, breathing through your leg, nice. And number three, ta-da! (squeals) Okay, we're ready to go all the way. Inhale, are you ready? (laughs) Bring it on, here we go, exhale, curl back. All right, when you go into the extension, you're not collapsing, you want to avoid that.

We really want to feel the reach. Bring the chin to the chest, inhale, curl all the way up, lift up the spine, the front of the spine, and then the leg is a garnish, may or may not straighten. Avoid collapsing in the spine, breathe. (deep breath) And straighten one more time... How are those toes? And we're gonna curl all the way back, here's our last one.

Stretch through that left leg, bring the right knee with you, chest wide and open. (deep breath) And chin down, curl forward, all the way up, ta-da-da-da, selfie! (laughs) And rest, okay... We're moving on from here, so we'll be removing the boxes, that's it. Our next chapter, we're moving to the lunge series. So this is going to challenge your balance, your hamstrings, your hip flexors, and maybe there's a little fear factor in here, I don't know but it's super a lot of fun.

I am going to bring the foot bar, you are going to bring your foot bar to the up position, here I have it on the bottom, I forget what this is called. Oh well, and for Christie, I have three red springs on, for Manuel we're going to have two red and a green, so it's fairly heavy, it's fairly heavy, all right. So we will stand onto the carriage, we will bring the right foot to the foot bar, the left foot to the rear shoulder rest, the front knee will be bent, and then we need to bring ourselves up into a standing position. Facing... Facing the foot bar, yes, I'm sorry, there we go.

Using the right leg? Right leg up, mm-hmm, mm-hmm. And then, bring your back knee up, there we go. And then bring your whole body upright, so you're balancing in your standing lunge. So you really need the ball of the foot secure.

You can slightly lower the ankle, and we would like the torso as upright as possible. If you feel a little unstable you may be bending forward, so just be conscious of that. Opposite arm forward from the leg. The first movement, this is simply to straighten the front leg. Breathe in, pressing the carriage back, keep the torso at the same height right now, straighten all the way out, exhale, and return.

(deep breath) Beautiful, that's it. Number two, breathe in, in, in... And exhale, exhale, exhale... One more, in, in, in, be mindful of your toes gripping. Exhale, bend, bend, bend, nice.

Stay there, straighten the front leg, so now your body's gonna go higher up. Both legs remain straight. Slide the carriage back any amount, inhale, (deep breath), exhale as you return (deep breath). That's nice. Inhale as you slide the carriage back, and exhale as you return.

This is number three, inhale... And exhale as you return, that's it. Bend the front knee back to the starting position. Three-way lunge, we put it all together. First move, inhale, the front leg straightens, the carriage goes back, both legs remain straight.

Exhale, pull the carriage forward, you're rising up in the air, bend the front knee forward over your foot, beautiful. And repeat, inhale, press back. (deep breath) Exhale, straight legs, pull the carriage in, and bend the front knee, that's it. Let's reverse. Go up in the air, the carriage doesn't move. That's it, the legs stay straight.

And slide the carriage back, breathe out. And continue that exhalation as you slide in. Let's just do one more that direction. (deep breath) And slide, that's it... And bend the front knee, good. (claps) Hands come to the carriage, come down. You can take a mini break if you need it by bringing the knees down.

Give your bum a little shake shake shake shake. Okay, second side. (laughs) All right, so come upright, upright. Inner thighs are a huge factor here in maintaining your balance. So the first move is just to straighten the front leg. Inhaling, and exhaling...

If my image of the pencil lead, the energy moving through the leg, was a little bit odd for you, maybe you can even think of your leg as being a garden hose, and that water going through, so you don't over-grip into our thighs. One more here, be mindful of your arm that's to the side, that it doesn't fall back behind you too much, and forward, great... Come all the way in, Manuel, bend the front knee, bend the front knee, there you go. Straighten up in the air, straighten up in the air, front leg is straight, the carriage stays in, and now you slide into the split position any amount. And exhale yourself back in. (deep breath) And again, slide, (deep breath) and forward.

If possible, the front heel stays low, if possible. And slide in, three-way lunge, twice in both directions. Bend the front knee, and press back, inhale... Rise up, come in, and bend the knee over the bar. And press back, breathe in, rise up, and exhale, bend that knee over the foot and the bar.

Reversing, rise up (deep breath) and split open. These guys are doing really beautifully. Coming in, bend that front knee. Here's the grand finale, up (deep breath) and back (deep breath) and in, and ta-da! Come down gracefully and take a little break. Whoo! I was ready to slide down.

I'm sorry, I brushed you. (all laughing) My feet sweat and it was like... Yes, so if you know you tend to have feet that get a little bit sweaty when you're working on this one in particular, you could put a towel on the bar, or you know a sticky mat with a towel, whatever is gonna increase your safety there. We're moving on, so let us lower the foot bars all the way out of the way. And we are going to put on one...

Let's put on one blue spring, one blue spring, okay. So we take everything else off? Yeah, take everything else off, and we'll just have one blue on, very good, all righty. Let us do this, we are going to turn to the back of the carriage, toward the shoulder rests, sit down right to the front here, and the legs will go through in between the shoulder rests. In between the shoulder rests.

If your legs fit in between with them in parallel, go ahead, the heels are just over the edge of the head rest. If not, you can cross one leg over the other at the ankle, just note which leg's on top so that you'll be able to change, because that little movement tends to un-level the pelvis a little bit. All righty, so let's go ahead and grab the straps. And I'm going to correct myself here, and change from a blue to a red, so I will do that change for them. The next exercise, the rowing.

I'm gonna kneel down here so that I can keep an eye on you two, and we'll start seated upright with our fists across from one another and the forearms across as well. Super-tall, engage your inner legs, just in case you forgot about them. Breathe in, exhale, and then as you turn the arms out, start diving over, make sure there's a little tension in the straps, so you're pressing back but not pulling a great deal. Engage the center, now pull your arms back even further, and dive forward a little bit more. Breathe in there. (deep breath) As you exhale, rotate so the palms are facing the floor and take the arms circling them forward until the carriage touches, that's the exhale.

Inhale here, exhale and roll yourself all the way upright, and that's it. Inhale, start turning the arms, palms back. Exhale, and dive your body over. Keep engaging into your straps a little bit. Press back and dive over a little bit more.

And then, that was the inhale; exhale, circle the arms forward, you're rotating, the upper arm bone comes forward, shoulder-blades down, feel the carriage stop. Breathe and roll yourself all the way back up again. And inhale, initiate, press; exhale, curl. Inhale, pull the straps back, dive a little more if you can. Exhale, sweep those arms forward forward and around around around around.

Carriage will touch, and roll yourself back upright. Let's just do one more. And open the arms, inhaling first, press back and then exhale, curl, dive, pull those arms way back, stretch them straight back behind you. And inhale here as you circle around, and then exhale as you come all the way forward and up. Great, now, we will finish with something really beautiful.

So please come to your knees. We will change the spring to blue. And kneeling, face the risers, so take your straps in your hands. And if you'd like to make it a little more challenging for yourself, you can be away from the shoulder rests and let your toes hang over the edge. It's up to you, you can kind of feel it out.

Bring your hands to your center right here, and I'll face you... So the position we're gonna take of the arms is like a half of an X, opening here, it's like the arms are blooming out of the chest center something like this, and then you will return, and then we'll change sides, okay? So, very mindful of where your arms are in space because we don't want to be a wonky X, or one arm too far back and out of the arm line in relationship to the torso, okay? So this spring is light, this replacement. There we go, let's take the right arm up first, yeah?

Inhale, left arm down, right arm up. Exhale, slowly return. (deep breath) And the other side, inhale. (deep breath) Nice, and exhale. (deep breath). So garden hose arms, too, so the energy goes through. That's it, and exhale, and switching, breathe in. And breathe out, that's nice.

Let's do one more set here, breathe in. (deep breath) And breathe out. (deep breath) And last time, breathe in. (deep breath) And breathe out. Stay focused; put it together. Inhale, the right arm is up, spiral it around, keep the carriage still. Exhale and fold in. (deep breath) And let the chest left a little bit if possible. (deep breath) Fill up the breath into your arms.

Exhale. (deep breath) And switch, inhale. (deep breath) Open open open, spiral it around, exhale. (deep breath) Great, last time... And breathe in, and spiral around, and exhale, beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful, so... That was my heart-opening finish for all of you. And I had a fabulous time with my Christie and my Manuel.

(laughing) Thank you very much!

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Beautiful and intelligent sequencing! ??
2 people like this.
I learnt a few new moves. Very clear instructions and a lovely instructor.
1 person likes this.
I loved it. Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Awesome!!! loved it!
1 person likes this.
As always enjoyable. Thank you Cathleen.
2 people like this.
Great class Cathleen. Thanks a million!
1 person likes this.
I first was introduced to Pilates by you, Cathie, at Body Revival group X conference in the 90's! That session was all about breathing, too. This session was absolutely wonderful, including your clear and precise cueing throughout and some great variations, I especially liked the single leg circles combo and kneeling diagonal arms. Thank you!
Thanks everyone for the feedback and taking the time to comment. We all read these and it makes what we have to offer very gratifying. So humbled and also feeling happy that how I approach this work is felt and resonates with so many.
1 person likes this.
Thank you - just what I needed. Was feeling a bit stale and your variations brought some new energy into my workout today :)
@Lucie, thanks for the sweet comment....hope your energy stayed steady throughout your day!
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