Hi, welcome. This is Leah Stewart and we are doing a prenatal [inaudible] reformer class. This class. Um, I've kind of, I kind of called nesting and my idea behind this was really, there's this phenomenon that happens with women toward the end of their pregnancy and they start nesting, which means they just get this really big surge of energy and they start wanting to clean and organize and get everything ready before the birth of their baby. And it's just a really beautiful natural thing that happens. So it kind of just kind of made me think about kind of some of that energy surge and some of those, some of that stuff that we kind of really can hone in on, on kind of that end of our pregnancy, you know, prior to giving birth and there's so many different options.
But I kind of wanted to marry this idea of, you know, like movement that kind of calms and relaxes and is a little bit on the gentler side, but also movement that is full of bursts of energy and requires strength and requires a dedication and focus. So, um, you know, I'm, I'm just kind of playing with that in this class and really I just want to demonstrate, I'm certainly toward the end of my pregnancy, I have about six weeks or so until my third baby is due to be born. So I'm definitely feeling that nursing, kind of a natural instincts coming up. And so I just kind of want to bring that into some of my plots practice. So let's go ahead and dive in and we'll just kind of talk to some of the things. And most importantly, just want to enjoy the movement.
So for a warmup and if you've taken classes when we for, you know, I'm a big fan of long warmups, so we're going to do, I have a half a spring, so I want to late spring. You're certainly more than welcome to increase up to one spring, but I think you're going to find a half a spring is sufficient for you. So want you to start with your legs cross and sitting towards the shoulder rests. You should be close enough to the shoulder blocks or the shoulder rest to where you can hold onto them. And we're gonna go really nice and short and sweet in these first initial movements here.
So I love to start my prenatal will really any of my classes with kind of a little rocking of my pelvis here. So just rocking in and out of a posterior tilt. So just starting to utilize the abdominals a little bit, the pelvic floor a little bit. Just really nice and easy here. So just a few more exhale and inhale. So just starting to warm up the body a little bit with the use of the shoulder blocks here, you can kind of pull a little bit more forward here.
You can kind of push a little bit of way here. You can kind of play with that. So now I wants you to release your right arm and I want you to twist
We're going to come forward, extend and reach back. So let's try to do a really long exhale here and a really long inhale here. Now why I like doing this with my legs crossed is that I get a little bit of a stretch through the back of my hips, which is so nice, especially toward the end of pregnancy. Let's go one more in this direction because of the pressure that the baby inevitably is going to push down into our pelvis, it kind of tends to make our muscles a little bit tighter and so we're gonna go the opposite, opposite direction leaning forward. So it was really nice to do some exercises that help stretch it out. So in the interest of keeping things balanced, before we go into our next rep, I want you to switch the legs. So whichever leg was in front, I want you to put it underneath or him back now so that we can maintain that balance and get a little extra stretch on the opposite side and bring it up.
So the opposite through the pipe is forward with the flat back and then curving through the spine and reaching up, hanging back on this fingertips a little bit and full word. Inhale, exhale and bring it up one more time forward and exhale and praying it up. So now moving along, we're going to take our hands on the foot bar and we're going to take our legs through the shoulder blocks and let them rest on the headrest. So here you're going to start with your arms nice and straight. Your shoulders are slightly internally rotated here to accommodate this movement and we're going to start with the little pelvic tucks and reaching up XL. And so again, a little bit of freedom of the spine, a little bit different than we initially did because we have our legs straight, we're moving the carriage. Now we're getting a little bit more dynamic.
Stretch to the chest and up. Just feeling that nice energy here as we move a little bit faster. So hold in this position. Then I want you to extend the spine to keep the carriage out so it's more demanding on the shoulders and then curl in. So the difference is I'm not bringing the carriage in all the way.
I'm keeping myself in that out position. And then I'm moving. The care's like little tiny pulses, if you will, if you want to liken it to that and keeping the carriage out and just doing a little movements there. So I'm getting into that extension thing using my abdominals to jump back into that flection. Two more. Inhale.
I want you to fill that nice surge of energy here and back to now. Bring the cares all the way in. Now this time you're going to lift the right leg
We're just going to try to keep our energy levels up here as we move through this movement. Good. So once you to come in and then wants you to release your arms, just let that pressure come off your elbows a little bit. You can shake your arms out if you need to, but we're going to stay here. Okay. Now we're going to take the right hand back, left hand out. We're going to rotate to the right and back again.
I'm really liking the number four for this reformer series. So I find myself doing a lot of repetitions of four. I don't know why, I can't explain why, but it seems to work really well. Exhale. So now using your body release
And we're just doing three sets of this. So of the Sussex and app. One more time. We're drawing in and up. Last time with the left legs drawing in and Apps of filling that come up. Draw those arms in. So that looks really good.
Another suggestion for you, if that's a little bit too harsh on your shoulders, is you can always take your foot bar a little bit lower. You can lower it down and that'll be a little bit of a gentler angle on your shoulders if you need to. So let's move on to our footwork. So I want you to load up to a footwork weight that feels comfortable for you. But keep in mind, we're gonna in this football foot work going to be sitting straight up and we're going to have to rely a lot on our own trunk stability for the series. So I want you to keep that in mind when we move through this.
So if you're used to working really, really heavy, it might be a little bit more challenging to hold your chunks stability. So, um, I'm going to try three springs here. Um, and some days I might feel like I want to try three and a half. So it just kinda depends on what you're feeling like today. So we're going to go into a really short little footwork series here. You're going to start, well, we're going to keep the position wide in our hips. We're going to hold the hands behind the thighs and we're gonna use our arms to pull our trunk straight up. We're going to press out, keep that verticality of the torso and bring it here
Who can get a nice stretch through your spine or you can play with kind of pushing your heels forward in opposition to that foot bar stays steady and you get a nice CBE stretch through your spine. So now our last position here is just going to be wide toes. So sitting yourself up nice and straight. Press out.
So whatever feels good for you. Um, you can keep the foot bar up or you can take it down. It kinda just depends on how you like to kind of get into the, the um, the exercise and get into your strap. I'm going to find myself lying on my side, getting myself all aligned. And then I like to keep my foot bar up and I put my bottom foot on it and then I can put my top foot in my strap. And that kind of feels really nice to say for me.
So we're going to go into a parallel frog and play with a little bit of rotation here. So again, the idea is this inspiration of this idea of late pregnancy and kind of gaining that burst of energy that comes with nesting and kind of feeling that same idea and in our own bodies, we're just going in and out here in a parallel frog of just that surge of energy. Just that final, like I got to prepare my body, I got to prepare my energy. I've got to prepare my mental and emotional state. I'm about to have a baby to birth and to take care of. So one more like that. Now what I want you to do here is rotate out with the hip and with the hip and come in. Exhale. Now generally is recommended in the third trimester that when we do hip work, we shorten the lever by putting the strap up over the knee.
And I certainly agree with that. You know, I'm actually going to transfer you to that position really shortly. But for something like this, as quite conservative, the frog, I feel like it's perfectly safe to keep that long lever and to enjoy that work. So because we're not putting a lot of pressure or vulnerability on the pelvis here and come in, and then last one. Now what it wants you to do here is bro, hug your knee in and I want you to take your strap with your hand and carefully let it slide or kind of slide up over here knee. So now we're in this shortened lever.
So what we're gonna do is we're going to work on kind of moving through a devil, a pay or a bend and straightening of our leg here. So we're going to externally rotate here. We're going to reach the like up and then we're going to bring it down. We're going to reach the leg up and bring it down. So we're still putting a little bit of vulnerability on the pelvis here, especially in this part right here where it requires us to use our adductors and our hamstrings to pull the leg down.
But I really want you to just feel that opening of that palace and just that fluidity of this movement, which feels so great and down and you should feel pretty like a pretty ballerina and press. Now, pelvic stability is definitely admirable here, but I'm not so concerned with your pelvis thing. Rock solid. If it wants to move a little bit as you bring that knee in, cause you want to hug that knee a little closer to your arm, let that happen. Because what you're going to get is that dynamic opening of the pelvis. So hold there, reverse it, bend and straighten. Reach out. Now if you find that the foot bar is getting in your way, that's what I was talking about. You know, you could always put it down. Um, next time you do this, or when we switch sides, or you can pause me, put the video on pause, put it down, and then come back and join me. Press.
Now what I like about this direction is as I go down and I really reached the energy through that hip and up. So once you to see that, that line I'm making up, down and around, one more, up, down and around. So now this time I want you to bring your knee in and I want you to hug that knee into your arm and then want you to fill this stretch. Close your eyes if you need to, and just stretch here. So there's freedom in that movement. There's energy in that movement, but there's also an element of control and stability for that whole entire movement, integrity that we want. So now this time, just very gently bring your leg back to parallel. And I want you to take your leg back and I want you to extend the leg.
And then I want you to let the lake hang down a little bit so that you're getting a little bit of opening in the front of the hip. So there's a little bit of a pool where the strap hits my thigh, but it's nothing that concerns me so much where I want to adjust. But if you feel like you want to adjust, go for it. So bring that leg back a little bit. And then I want you to rock the top side of your pelvis forward and back.
So I'm holding onto the shoulder block here so I don't feel like I'm going to go rolling off my reformer like Humpty dumpty. So I'm bringing that leg back and look at and letting my body rotate in open and it feels really good. So forward and open. And then just let your spine and your shoulders and even your heading, your neck respond to that openness a little bit. So a little bit more free here and back and one more.
Bring it forward and back. Finding that stretch, bend your knee in. Now getting out of this gracefully is always, you know, a challenge. What wasn't so shabby was it? And Go ahead and come on up. So we're going to slide the carriage in, use our arms to come up and to stick around to the other side. So a nice little short hip book series, but one that certainly leaves us feeling good.
If you want to put your foot bar down, you can and then all you need to do is to put your foot on the inside of the platform to kind of get your feet into the straps. So whatever you prefer, whatever it feels better for you. So my bottom foot goes on the foot bar, so my top leg can be released and I can put my strap in releasing. I'm going to come into a parallel frog [inaudible] so I want to feel nice extension through my upper back and I press out and in excel.
As I bring the leg parallel, I feel that deep stretch in my hip joint here. They use my hamstrings to extend them. Finally, my quads to extend the knee at the final bit. XL Two more like this. Using your breath, using breath deliberately here. Really strong breath externally. Rotate the leg internally, rotate and en
Feel like you're lengthening your body as you bring it down. Squeeze that hip in. Take it up and down and drawing it in. Inhale, exhale down.
As much inhalation as you can. Do as much exhalation as you can do, and now let's do one more and down other direction. Bring it up, then the knee and sweep it down. Bring it up, bend the knee, sweep it down and up and see if you can increase that range of motion as you feel the flexibilities. Start to gain in the legs, in the hips and out. Keeping the waste as long as you possibly can. Again, as much stability as you can through your pelvis, but not being to focus on that rock solid stability, but just more stability so that you're not out of control. That was our last one.
Now bring the leg behind you as much as you can. Keep it nice and straight. Then roll the pelvis forward and roll it back. I'm thinking here of trying to get this back foot. This is my left foot. In this case, down to the floor.
I know it's not going to reach the floor, but that's the idea that I have in my head and forward with the pelvis and reaching back, feeling that opening, feeling that stretch. I'm forward and back and you can think you're just rocking your baby here, forward and back. And this is our last one. Hold it. Feel that stretch and slowly and carefully come back in. Bring your foot up. Find your bar or your platform to feel a little security as you slide your leg out of the strap and come on up nice and slow.
So that was our, where are you guys? Anyway, that was our hip work series. So now we're going to move on to a standing arms slash balance slash um, abdominal series. Again, kind of as short and sweet series because we're gonna do one side and then the other. So I'm on a half a spring now when I do this on my own equipment, I do it on actually balanced body has a yellow spring, which is a quarter spring. So I'm not sure obviously what equipment you're working on, but you want to work on your lightest spring. Now even with your lightest spring, it might still be really challenging.
So if worse comes to worse, you can do a little bit shorter range of motion or a little bit less repetition. Or if you want to do this and not quite have the resistance, but have the work with the balance and just the movement vocabulary, you can take off all your springs and just move the carriage. So it really is so versatile, um, because the variables are changed because it's just we, everybody's working on different equipment. So I'm going to grab the strap. I'm standing on the outside and I'm holding onto the rope here. So we're going to go just kind of four, four, four, maybe some five repetitions here, but we're going to go through the series.
So I'm in a PA now, here's my secret weapon for pregnant lady. Balance Concerns. I'm letting my left leg in this case or my inside leg push up against the reformer frame. So I'm feeling like a little more secure with that. So there you go. You can tell it's not a cheat, it's just a little extra security. So you're gonna hold it here and you're gonna pull the cares forwarding your arm back.
So that's movement we're going to do with that left arm one more time. So now the right arm is going to go up and as you pull, the right elbow is going to come down to the right knee. Then you're going to extend up XL. Now notice how here I'm bending this left elbow in here. If I'm working with a lighter spring, I find myself able to do it with a straight arm. So heavier spring, it's a little easier to bend the elbow in.
Lighter spring is a little easier to come with the elbow straight. So there's just a little difference in nuance for you for movement XL, a number for the skull, a little bit more with this one XL. So notice how my left leg is staying bent and in that was six, two more and up and eight. So now what we're gonna do is we're going to bring the body into a rotation or a kind of like a swing. So I'm going to be swinging through the center and to the left.
So my arm's going to come out to the right a little bit, swing the arm around, bring the left knee up and swing my body to the left. Then swing my body back to the right. Swing my body to the left and swing my body to the right. So I'm getting kind of the semi circles, so kind of half of a rotation here or a circle of my torso. So swings a little more free here.
Still Bending that left elbow XL
You're going to bend the elbow and just a little lateral flection. So very simple so you can see how we're getting really grounded. We're getting a lot of beautiful abdominal work with some great arm and shoulder work here and some really nice safe standing work
Think of yourself like a big tree, like a big sequoia tree or big redwood tree. Just really strong, really grounded, and you're going to pull in and stretch up, draw in and stretch up. Just feeling that energy as you stretch and stretch, stretch using your best. You can feel how this class is really dynamic. It's, I'm trying to just again, get this like burst of energy, this burst of strength that you have this burst of belief of yourself to move with strength and to move with energy. I know sometimes during our third trimester, we don't feel energetic, but we are energetic and we need to just use our breath and our movement to gain that. So arm goes out to the left and it swings in.
We're going to focus on spinal articulation on some shoulder work and we're going to have a little bit of fun with it. Again, still moving with that energy and that we're just relating to kind of that surge of energy of nesting. And you know what's so funny is that we just realized go up and load one and a has spring, that it's really stormy up here this weekend in, in central California in Santa Barbara and we have the ocean here, which is normally so tranquil and blue and calm, which is wonderful, but we have all this beautiful storm storm surge going on right now and it really is applicable to kind of this burst of energy that kind of swells up or can swell up and women, uh, toward the end of pregnancy. And it's just a great way to kind of matte the energy that we're trying to create here in this class. So go ahead, take a peak at that behind me and let that be some further inspiration for you. So I want you to step onto your carriage here at one and a half spring. So our up stretch, we normally have our feet up against the shoulder blocks and we're going to do that in a moment, but we're going to start with our legs together.
And I want you to get into as much of a flat back as you can and bring your chest down as much as you can. So what I want you to do is you're gonna reach the legs back, but that reaching back is initiated by my pelvis, by my tumble coming up. Then Xcel, we're going to curl. So we're kind of in an elephant position here, the pelvis underneath. We're going to lead with the pelvis and the pelvis can go so far and then the legs respond to that additional arch in the lower back. Then draw the abdominals in as you curl forward.
No notice my chest isn't as far down as it would normally be in the up stretch because I'm just working on this movement here in that shoulder stability and it's kind of as far as my chest can go down at this point and draw in. Now take that right foot down, chancellor the weight onto the right slit, bring the left leg back a little bit, carriage goes back, then draw in deflection. Inhale, reach, extend on the diag.
Two more. Inhale,
Now, depending on your strength, your length, a lot of different factors. You may get to touch that one knee down to the carriage. But more importantly than that being your goal, I want you to take the knee down toward the carrots as close as you can get it without compromising the integrity or the safety of your position. So strong shoulders, I'm reaching a lot of energy out, so I'm going forward with my energy before I swivel to bring that knee down and then boom, I send it right back up and I draw the carriage in. So the movement's a little fragmented right now, but we'll make it a little bit more fluid and press up and rotate, pushing energy away from the foot bar and press up.
Probably the most thing you're vulnerable for here is letting your belly hang and putting all the pressure in your lumbar spine. And so that's why I want you to try to eat well, the weight into your shoulders. Send the energy out through your spine, push the knee down and app. Now if you're an advanced mover, you know what? I kind of feel like I'm doing like a pregnant lady surf safe version of, it's kind of like the snake in a way.
It kind of mimics some of that spiral that we get when we do that. And if you're doing the snake pregnant, I'm so proud of you and
Kind of like the prehensile and I'm in kind of like a runner's lunge here, like I'm getting ready to go on a race, but what I'm going to do is I'm going to push the leg back, keeping my heel down on the mat, and I'm going to flatten my spine as much as I can. Then I'm going to curl it in. I'm going to look down at that thigh, inhale and exhale, drawing it. Then so I'm getting this deep lunge in my hips is really deep. Stretch in that calf muscle and that Achilles tendon of my left leg here and then that beautiful flection there and reach. Exhale forward and inhale.
Exhale forward. Now from hearing, then extend the leg up. I'm going to feel that stretch through the hamstring squaring off the hips, lengthening the spine, m and a hold here.
I'm going to try to extend as much as I can, keeping the heel down and then forward in deflection. Hips are nice and square. Inhale, fill the articulation of your spine and then bring it in with nice strength, nice intention. Inhale and exhale.
Then wants you to take one leg and rest it up on the foot bar. So you're going to literally just rest it there and squaring the hips off as much as you can. Keeping that knee as straight as you can. Nice straight spine neutral spine to begin with. We're going to curl in,
Just moving a little bit cause I'm on such a late spring and that's okay. As long as it's not out of control and reach and forward and fill that stretch. Slowly change sides, so the left leg, or excuse me, the right leg comes down and the left leg goes up to rests on the top of your foot on the foot bar. Finally that neutral position. Then we curl the pelvis underneath, draw the knee in
So that's why I've chosen to work with the blue spring
The secret with the swan is to keep a little bit of the upper back extension and use the hip extension and all the way back and down. Now this time with your legs wide, I want you to take your hands onto the floor.
The movement is initiated from my torso when I pull back with my arms a little bit, engaging my lats and my shoulders and my triceps. Exhale.
That bringing the body down a little bit. Bring the hips up through a little bit, flattering your torso and the same less essentially a little bit more back extension throughout her range of motion and pull it down. So I'm lifting my hips off my heels. I'm actually feeling the outside of my chest. On the, I'm touching the shoulder blocks. I know that that gives me an a nice flat position. And then lifting up
I want you to come up, curl your toes, flatten your feet as much as you can and pull back on the shoulder rest and let your spine just soften as you come into this deep squat and breathe here.
Go ahead and carefully sit down in your bottom if you can, without falling, bring your legs forward so your toes are on the frame here. And then just to kind of get into a little bit of a softer position, just rounding forward,
You can be preparing for it, but I hope that you feel energetic and I hope that you felt like you nested your body a little bit at the end of your pregnancy. So great work. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope to see you soon. Thanks again.