Class #2985

Reformer Workout

40 min - Class


You will make sure every movement you do is for you in this Reformer workout by Amy Taylor Alpers. She refers back to her Return to Life tutorial to make sure you are working deep without creating tension in your body. She focuses on creating more oxygen and circulation in your body so that you feel invigorated by the time you are finished.
What You'll Need: Reformer, Pilates Pole

About This Video

Apr 09, 2017
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Hi, everyone. I'm Amy Taylor Alpers from the Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado. And I am here with the lovely Ana. And we're gonna do a reformer, but our reformer today is not gonna be a certain level or a certain tempo or a certain intensity, it's gonna be really more, again, using our theme of return to life, our theme of oxygen, circulation, moving, bending things. Not stretching, not tensing, not hardening, not overworking, but working very deep and making sure that every movement you do, on any piece of equipment, any piece, you're doing it for you.

Not to look good, not to perform it correctly, not for your teacher. You're trying to support something deep within you, your healing process. And our goal as the teacher would be to support that as opposed to get in the way and order things or whatever else we might do, right? So how do we support this journey back to health through pilates for this person? Okay, so come forward just a little bit.

You're just gonna have a seat and lie down, and put your feet on the foot bar. And we're gonna go. And inhale up, and exhale down. And inhale up, and I'm gonna lift your head rest a little bit. Inhale.

Exhale. Now at this end, because I really want the energy to go up in her body and not down in her body, I'm gonna keep the heels a little higher and stay here for one second and just shrug your shoulders a little bit and take a big inhale, way up there. Way up there. And then exhale, stay way up there. That's right.

Inhale. Exhale. And we're not gonna even think of setting the knees down. We're gonna think of lifting the lungs up. Lift the lungs up.

Exactly. And you're gonna start feeling like your ankles actually have to glide. So your ankle would glide around your foot instead of you dropping your heel every time. Last time. So that you would get a longer lift.

And then we'll come bird on a perch. And you wanna get a fabulous curl of your feet and a deep flexion of your ankles. So as you go out, I'm gonna move you just a little bit. As you go out, stay for a second, bend your knees a little tiny bit and flex your ankles a lot more. And then curl.

And as you go out, your heel opens in opposition to your lungs, right, so you don't kind of shove any tension into your body, you just open your body and you flex it back home. You got it, inhale. So heels come this way, knees just open, there's no tension, they don't have to figure anything out. Good. Inhale.

Exhale. And last time. And when you exhale, you exhale so deeply, right, that you can pick your feet up and move your heels to the foot. And we go up, and in, that's right. And again, come back in.

And you think a little less, always, of straightening your knees, and a little bit more of standing deep in your feet, flexing your ankles, and then in opposition to that taking a big inhale. So you inhale and then you can deeply squeeze. Yes, good. Now we're gonna breathe a little more quietly and have it do more inside you. Yeah.

So as you inhale, you inflate the lungs, you let the thoracic spine be free, and then exhale comes in and deeply contracts so that it can start to pump oxygen through your tissue a little bit better. And last time. And the exhale is so strong you can pick your feet up and put the balls of your feet back down. And then you're gonna lift up nice and high, inhale, stretch it out, and then you're gonna lower, lower, lower, and you get to go nice into your flexion and then way back up again, and down, down, down, and way back up. And lift your toes.

And lower, lower, lower. And she's doing a really nice job of not hyper-extending the knees. You can keep a little more wrap up into the hips just to keep the kneecaps facing forward, but go for a deep flexion, as long as you're not hanging in the knee, so that you get a deep activity in the ankle. And come back up, and last time. Way down deep in the front of the ankle, and way up high in the arches of the feet.

And bend your knees and come home, you've got it. And then bring your knees to your chest and then take your feet down on the foot bar, take a big inhale, and exhale, up we come. Good. Now, again, we're going to, exactly. We're gonna have a little more activity in the foot, soft through the ankle, soft through the knee, and then we're gonna have a nice lift and lightness in the thoracic spine.

Let your shoulders shrug towards your ears a little bit and toward the ceiling a little bit, just so they're not yanking on you, that's right. And so you could float up to them, very nice. Good, now less sound. Fill the lungs, squeeze the abdominals. Keep your pumps.

Fill the lungs, squeeze the abdominals nice and deep. Last time. Fill the lungs, big, big, big, big, big, squeeze, bend your knees and your elbows. Gorgeous, all right. We're gonna do short spine.

So go ahead and lift your head, I'll do this piece. Thank you. Our goal is not to stretch the spine, our goal is not to do short spine perfectly. Our goal is to release tension and massage all the tissues in your body so that they get filled with oxygen. Inhale, extend it out, exhale, up and over.

Bend the knees, big inhale. Huge lungs right here. And then exhale, deep abdominals, don't stretch. Keep it a little smaller, hit it deep. And then bend your knees, good.

Now on the first movement, don't lock your knee. Just stand on your feet. Inhale. You can even come a little lower, little less tension, little more weight. Big inhale, exhale, squeeze and bend, bend, bend.

And I like the elbows out a little bit because we tend to lock 'em away, and then we're gonna keep 'em here and the locking away kind of impedes the lungs a little bit. So you roll your back down. Your roll your abdominals deep, you massage your organs. You keep your thighs on your chest as long as you can, and you try to roll through the spine and then bend the knees with deep muscles, yes. Inhale, nice and low and big lungs.

Exhale, deep squeeze, much better. Bend, bend, bend. Inhale, fill your lungs. Exhale, squeeze and narrow massage. Beautiful, Ana, that's the way.

The knees stay, no tension in the knees. Abdominals roll you all the way down. You're not straightening your knees, you're letting them be released and then you flex. Nice job, okay, great, enough. We'll take the handles and go into coordination.

You got it, there we go. (Amy laughs) All right. So then even in this position, we're not gonna hold tension. We're gonna flex ourselves all the way. And then we take the feet down, inhale so the lungs open up, and then you squeeze all the way in, good.

Again, release tension in the shoulders. Let the lungs fill. Yeah, so that you don't tighten right here, you actually let the shoulders maybe go the other direction a little bit as the lungs fill. Yeah. So you feel maybe 50-50 instead of all over here, right?

Your lungs fill, open, close, squeeze, you got it. Let's do one more like that. You can add some beats when the lungs get that good at holding you, and then you exhale. And in. Gorgeous.

Hook your handles and lets go into stomach massage. And we'll keep this same rhythm going if you can in stomach massage, right? So we're not going crazy-heavy springs today, we're just doing a three for our footwork and stomach massage. And she's gonna continue to just focus on the lungs filling, the abdominals squeezing. No tension anywhere so that breath can happen easily.

So we're gonna go inhale, fill the lungs, lower lift, exhale, squeeze it all the way up. Inhale, lower lift, exhale, good. Full lower lift every time. So you inhale, full lower, go all the way, all the way up, yes. Because the feet, the articulation of the feet is so key to your circulation, it's just a key piece.

So as you go out, don't drop too quickly. Okay, go out and stay, yeah, get where you need to. We're not gonna put the knees down, we're gonna lift all 10 toes, we're gonna keep the heel very high and maybe the knee bent so that the arch is holding you, and instead of any of that we're gonna fill this. And then lift your arches to come home, and then instead of putting your knees down, you fill your lungs. Inhale, don't do this piece.

Stay up, stay up on your feet. Yeah, stay up on 'em. Lower lift. Exhale, come on home, last time. Stay up on those feet and fill your lungs, oops! Do you feel it a little bit? Yes.

Take a spring down. you can take your arms back, but keep your feet. Keep 'em up nice and high, all 10 toes up. Inhale, stretch. Go ahead, lower lift, all the way.

No short ranges, all the way, all the way. And all the way. Exactly. And that's not, like, just technical. So the point being that's still short, right, did you feel it?

Go all the way, all the way. All the way, all the way. And all the way back up again. Yeah, so you never cut your range, but you don't drop this. Okay.

One last time. So this doesn't drop, keep it up. Yeah, lower your heels, lift your heels and lift this back up. Reach around and stretch out. So it's not, like, a technical issue, it's that when she drops her knees down, right, she's gonna tense stuff.

So lift all 10 toes, keep your arches high, worry more about your arches than your knees. Keep your arches, exhale. And then you won't tighten your, oh! That's too tense in your knees. Lift your lungs, stay off of me. Stay off! Yeah, lift all 10 toes.

Staff of of me, yes! Come back in, last time. There we go! And then rest, right? So it's not like it's just technical, oh, don't drop your heels. It's that every time we drop the heel, it goes like this and then we can't breathe. They have to stay up here, ah.

So the lungs are free. And I think that's what happens a lot for people, is that we get a little technical about stuff. Oh, that's the rule it's supposed to be. But if we look at it more like, but, is she breathing? Is something in the way of breathing?

Is something in the way of circulation? We'll see it faster. Okay. So let's go ahead and step off, and let's go into long box. And we'll do swan here.

Normally, maybe on a level 3 or an intermediate level you might do swan on the barrel, but we'll just go here because she can. All right. And she's gonna step out. And so if we did our feet beautifully on our stomach massage, and footwork. And you could, if you want, so you can go on the wood or you can go back on there.

If we get those feet right earlier, then they're gonna enable our spine to be very free in swan. If we don't use them well, then we tend to grip. Okay? So you get to push all your want with the ball of your foot, but keep your heel up and no weight in your heel. And then you're gonna arch all the way back, all the way back, and you get to come farther.

Come on, let go. All the way, that's the way. Open your arms and go forward, and you stay on the ball of your foot. And then you rise up and go, just go. And then you arch forward and down.

Now, we're gonna use twice as much abs, no back. Keep your feet strong. You're gonna go all the way back, and open and come forward. Go all the way, go all the way, just go. And then around.

One more time. Link your thumbs in the well and go all the way back, just go. And open, good. Now, it's not that you let your head go, your whole body goes. Your whole body goes.

That's the way. And stretch it out, beautiful. And step off. Very nice. So you're gonna drop one spring so that we get it so free, no tension, no resistance, no belief system that it's only supposed to be "x" number of degrees or something like that, you just go as much as you can go without tension so that then when you do push ups you actually are free.

So you're gonna go inhale, pull and arch. We're gonna come all the way to here. And exhale it back down. Half the tension, twice the movement. Inhale, all the way, all the way, all the way.

And exhale it back. And each time, you let go completely. And inhale up, up, up. And exhale all the way, all the way, all the way. And you start up very high in the armpits, right?

Maybe just a little lower there, and then you breathe. Inhale and exhale. And we're gonna do less bringing the hands together, more breathing and bending the spine. Yes. And then way up.

So we get all of this stuff. And exhale, much better. Handles in one hand, that's enough of those. And step off. Okay?

And now backstroke. No tension, no locking your knees and elbows. All about breathing and bending things, okay? So you're all the way in, you've got nice strong feet. You go up, inhale, exhale, and then inhale.

This is your inhale. And exhale back again, yes. All the way. Inhale, bring your carriage home. Yes.

Inhale, up, exhale, wide, unlock. Unlock your elbows and pull your lungs through. And exhale, elbows way back. Feet down. Inhale up.

Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. One more time like that, feet down. Inhale.

Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Nice job. And we'll go into teaser.

The inhale's very key on that exercise, right? For sure. Yeah, yeah. When you hit that long position, that's the biggest moment of all. That's the moment where the use of the springs, the use of the shape of the movement, the choreography, could really make you breathe and suspend the whole thing with your inhale versus locking down with your hardening tissues.

Okay? So if we get the inhale at the right moment, then nothing else has to work so hard. Take your arms down so we're not holding. And then you curl in. Inhale.

Now soften the elbow and hold with your hands. Yes. Exhale down. Just right down, we'll just do straight up and down. Inhale, exhale.

Now, you're gonna lift with your chest instead of your tiny, small pecs. So shoulders back, elbow wide, chest up. And exhale. Last time. Inhale, chest, chest.

And then roll back down, curl it, let go and release it. Yeah. And again. Inhale, we'll do circles. Inhale, and you're gonna circle your whole chest.

Yes. Right? Think of circling your shoulder blades. Right? Move the whole thing.

The whole thing. Yeah, last time. And then we roll back down. Curl feet together, yeah. Even as you go up and down, can you see, Ana, try not to squeeze this part of your arms together, try to move your hands.

And inhale. So you stay in the hands, nice! And then reverse your circles. The hand moves the whole wing. Use your wings. Her teacher says use your wings.

Your whole wing, not just this part. The shoulder blades, the deltoids, the chest, the big pecs, yes, and go back down. Handles in one hand, step off. You can put your handles down. Actually, we'll put 'em on the ground.

Okay, great job. Have a seat. Nice. And I think what I might do for you is just make one of them a little longer. We'll just use one so that she could be a little narrower and then a little further back.

So that if she goes backwards, basically, it doesn't cut her right here so she can't breathe. Right? It has to be somewhere where this is very free so the spine can roll through. All right, so. We curl, we get nice ankle flexion, and then we don't tense or tighten, just relax.

You've got it. And then we inhale. Inhale it, inhale, inhale, inhale. And exhale, and I just slowed her a little bit because her movement was faster than her inhale. So her inhale takes her there, gorgeous, inhale, inhale, exhale, and I can feel the moment she holds her breath.

Yes. We're gonna inhale. So we're gonna fill the lungs, and Joe would say, "Fill the bottom of the lungs first." The bottom of the lungs first. Nice job. We're gonna do one more like that.

Less sound, more movement inside. Fill the lungs, fill the lungs, fill the lungs. Squeeze the abdominals out. Nice job. Take your bar and reach up.

Don't tighten or harden, just reach up. Strong, a little bit forward, there we go. And then inhale, so a good ankle flexion, and squeeze. Yeah. Now again, you're gonna breathe the lungs.

Don't even stretch so much. Soften in here a little bit. You can stretch this wide with internal breathing, and squeeze, without hardening anything. So you fill the lungs, there we go. Squeeze one more time.

Less sound, more lungs and more abs. Good side bend. Inhale. And this one can be really challenging because we wanna stretch. What if you just bend and fill?

And squeeze, nice job. There's not really an end raise, just kinda how much your lungs could fill. Exhale. Inhale, nice job. Exhale.

Good. And be even, are you even? And then I can't remember which way we started. Go that way one more time. Inhale.

Yeah, but that's awesome. Beautiful job. Okay, now we're gonna rise up and twist, and again we're not tightening anything, we're trying to fill. So we're gonna inhale and fill, and exhale, come up. Nice and lifted, but inhale in so you're still breathable, you haven't tightened anything.

Harder? Harder, yeah. Bring your hands a little narrower, yeah, so they're right above your shoulders so it helps hold this up a little bit more. Inhale, inhale, inhale, inhale. Exhale, good, quiet on the exhale.

Little more quiet. Inhale, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, and squeeze it out. Nice job. Inhale, fill with your left elbow a little more. Yes, and come back up.

And twist and breathe, and your right arm up. That's the way, and come back up. Better job, okay. And bring your bar under. Okay, we're gonna do tree.

And you bend one knee, you got it. And you inhale, all you do is inhale, and you exhale. Nice job. And just like you did in short spine, you're gonna keep that thigh very close to you and try to bring the lower leg on top of the upper leg versus maybe even thinking I straighten my knee, or something, right? So that we open that up and you hold the leg very close via your psoas.

Nice job, stay up there, beautiful. Flex, and then we're going as deeply as we can, I know that's crazy. That's my come-to-Jesus moment with pilates was right there in the studio. It's like, oh jeez, okay. And last time.

Nice job, nice job. Walk your hands up. Elbows are high, shoulders are light, lungs are lifted. You're up and then you walk away, breathing deeply, if you wanna arch you can. Because you can, not because it's the thing you're supposed to do but it's really because you can.

So as you go down, you don't put any weight down. You keep your weight up. And then you've gotta arch a little sooner sometimes because then you can go all the way, and then curl and pick this up right away. 'Cause this gets heavy. One more time.

So the lungs stay light, the thoracic spine stays light, it can articulate 'cause we didn't put any weight in it. And then up we come, nice job. Yes. And let's switch feet. And we go.

Inhale. And exhale, right. And you're going not to stretch your hamstring, but to fill your lungs, right? And it may feel like a stretch in the hamstring, right? But it's a deep flexion of your hip and then an extension of your knee, and then you stay up and flex and point and you keep the deep flexion of the hips so that the extension of the knee doesn't lose that, which would make you grip something.

Get a deep flexion. So we're deep nervous system all the way, and then up we come. Shoulders are light, elbows are light, lungs are light, ribs are light, leg is light, everything is light. You walk away, there's no weight, no weight. No weight, it's all held, no weight.

(Ana laughs) And then it goes back. And then it comes back up, again, really high like that. And you roll away, but you keep your lightness. To me it always looked like an octopus tentacle. We never had, like, a weight in it.

Nice job. And exhale, up we come. Very high, elbows high and wide. And last time. Inhale.

Yes, yes! And exhale. Nice job. And then up we come. We're so light. It's not a position, it's a lightness so that everything is flexible, nothing is tight.

Bend your knees, step off. Gorgeous job. Let's take your box away and we'll do long stretch. And the goal being you're so open, you're so strong, that you can maintain the suspension of this position without locking down. Now, one spring, technically, you wanna try it on one?

If that feels like it's not enough I'll add a spring, but. Pad here, toes go on the front of the headrest. Right? And you're suspended in your beautiful, oxygenated body. You have a little ankle flexion so that you're not tensing.

Exhale. And you're gonna see, how do I not use this piece so much? Because this is where my lungs are. This breathes, this is more the power. And then squeeze your power together and just lift your head the tiniest little bit so it's not hanging.

Inhale, that's a little high. And exhale, right. Very common to overwork this. We wanna get this one degree higher, right? So you can work this a little bit more.

Inhale, not this but oh, nice job, Ana. And then, uh-huh. One more time like that. And come back in and lower your heels. So that one was very challenging in the sense that we, I think especially as women trying to do work that was designed by a man, and we don't necessarily have the chests and the shoulders for it, we'll often overwork a little bit right in there, right, and then of course those quads.

We're always happy to use 'em. All right. So we're gonna bring the hips forward and look up and we're gonna be in extension so we have a beautiful space for lungs here. And we're not hanging, but we are forward, and then just a little awareness. Bring this foot in.

Not so much the foot even, just the heel. Yeah, beautiful. So we want alignment there. And here's a good place to feel, again, we're not stretching this. We're gonna try to stand on this.

Yes. So it's not a position, it's actually a contraction of the front of the ankle. And then you go deep into the ankle and then stay in your ankle and chest out. And then here, don't stretch at all. Let the shoulders go back and bend your spine more.

This goes forward, yes, and this goes back. Stay forward here if you can, Ana. Take your shoulders back just a little bit and let that go forward. Don't hang here, but do let that go forward. Gorgeous.

Ankles and hands and squeeze. Stay eyes up, stay eyes up, way up here. Last time. Stay here, now. Ankles and hands push you apart, beautiful.

Keep this. In, and then exhale it back up. Way up, way up, way up, way up. Gorgeous. Pike up into your up stretch.

Let the toes come away, but not very much. If the toes get low, I'd come up a little higher. If the toes get too far away, then again we're gonna push with the shin calf. Push with the heel and flex the ankle. Inhale.

And then the hands over here, and then come home, keep your head. And then curl here, push with your heels, come on home. Curl, beautiful. Push and curl again. Now last time, curl your front, not your back.

Right. Push with your front, not your back. Gorgeous. And then come up and let's do a combo. Curl your front, not your back.

So first you're gonna come up. Go ahead and come up, a little bit more. So you're all the way, pike your hips up a little bit more. All the way up to up stretch. Good.

Push with your heels, good. Come into your down stretch. Push back out again, curl your front, not your back. One more time. Push your heels, arch and relax this and let it come through, gorgeous.

Push back out, curl and lift and lower your heels. Just your heels. In elephant, we have a couple tendencies. One is to sit too far back and hyper-extend the leg. Sometimes we go too far forward and we hunch in the back.

We're trying to find a nice, happy medium, and it's a little different for each person. I think you can walk back a little farther. Right. So you've got 50 percent of your weight on your hands, 50 percent of your weight on your heels, actually on your ankle, let's say. And then distributed out, not too much in the toes but in the ball of the foot.

And then you're not gonna hold this, you're gonna lift this. And then you go exhale, you pull this home. So it's just the best opportunity ever to practice your exhale. Relax in there, sit down a little bit here. Yeah.

Now as you go, so I'm gonna let go. Yes, okay? Curl. But don't hold. And then as you go, yeah! Exhale your abs, and as you go out, keep that a little bit and squeeze 'em home.

And keep it and squeeze 'em home, beautiful. And squeeze 'em home, nice job. So it's really deep abdominal psoas. And then let's go right into knee stretches. So you're gonna come to kneeling, and then you're gonna come deep into a deep squat.

And that's great, you see how she's working her way back into the nice, flexible toe joints, nice, flexible ankle, deep knee, deep hip, hands on the bar, head down, always shoulder-width. Yeah. So that it's not too wide, it's right where your hands come right out of your shoulders. The head is down. For some people you have to say hang the head, for some people you have to get 'em to curl it forward.

You're gonna relax your back, right? And we're working more the front stuff. So you flex your ankles and then you squeeze your guts. And you squeeze your guts, and you squeeze your guts. Not quite as big.

And squeeze your guts, and squeeze your guts. And squeeze your guts. That's the way. Exhale. So you only go out so you can come in.

Come in. And as you go out, just like in hundred, you don't change your spine on the out. You squeeze in. You squeeze in, nice job, last time, stay in. Now, you're gonna arch your spine and you're really gonna feel that nice deep in here, and you're looking straight out across the savanna to catch the gazelle or whatever it is since you're a cheetah now.

And we're gonna go out, and exhale. No tension here, yes. This is free to arch, so this is free to breathe. Your weight's on your hands and your feet, it's even a little light on your knees. And this heel could come in narrower again.

Yes. Okay? And you have a sense, actually, that the knees are slightly levitating right here. So you're on your hands and feet, not on your knees, and this ankle in a little bit more. Exhale, and last time. Exhale.

Now we're gonna curl. Head way down, lean forward slightly and levitate. And same feeling, don't move 'em too far. Keep 'em pretty close. They do come out, but not all the way.

Okay? So now you're deep in your curl, and you're standing in your feet-hands. And you're moving your feet-hands, beautiful, all the way. Good. Less quads, more breath.

More breath. More breath. And last one, and nice job. Step off. Beautiful.

Great. Let's do running and bottom lift. We'll add another spring. And then when you get to running, you feel like your whole body's pumping oxygen. Nothing's tight, nothing's tense, nothing feels like it hasn't gotten oxygen yet.

And then this one is not so much of a throwaway to just calm you back down. This is a really nice foot articulation, as well. So you inhale, you don't set your knees down. You switch and switch and switch and switch. And you really feel the feet moving like a spine, like the end of an octopus tentacle.

Not just as, like, two jointed things. Yes. And you just watch hyperextension so that when you flex, you flex in the front of the ankle and you don't drop into achilles tendon stretching. You're just moving muscle tissue, right? You're moving muscle tissue and using it, because the calves are a powerful pump for your circulatory system.

And it's quite different from dropping and stretching. And then lift both legs up. And not even in the knee, in the arches of the feet. Yes. That's one of the differences, is that it's really here.

And when you come in, you're here now, so you can put your feet over and then you levitate your pelvis and you inhale out. And come back in. And here you get to go as wide as you can, right? And then you fill your lungs and you exhale wide. And you think not so much that you're trying to stay behind my hands, but that you're trying to pull your knees off of my hands with the back of your hip, you've got it.

Nice. Pelvis a little lower, flex your ankles. Yes. Inhale. So you're in a straight line, no tuck.

From shoulder to heel. Exhale, come in, wide and deep abdominals. Two more. Fill the lungs, big lungs. Squeeze your guts, nice job.

Last time, fill the lungs, huge, and squeeze your guts. And use your abdominals to roll your spine, pick your feet up to come to standing and we'll do side splits. Now in side splits 2, let's start on two springs and then we'll go down to one if it looks safe to do that, right? So she's gonna step up, we're gonna put your left foot on the wood. We're gonna heel-toe toe right foot all the way out if you can, right, and then the arms are out to the side.

And you're going to go as far as you can. And the problem with too many springs is you can't go very far and it kinda overworks things. So you're just pushing like that, and what we really would like, and I'll help you, is that you could glide the spring all the way out, just go, just go, no tension, just go, just go, just go. And then come back home. And you just go all the way.

In one movement, all the way. And come back up. Last time, in one movement, all the way. And come back up. And then you'd heel-toe in.

Beautiful. And step over to the carriage and turn and face the other way. And when they get to side splits, if all of this oxygen is kinda new to them, I would definitely be here. Because, while they could be pretty high at this point and not totally in their body, but part of what makes you a really, ultimately extremely healthy pilates body is that you can handle that speed, that intensity, that freedom, and maintain your control. Yeah.

So now, as you go, can you do one more and you're done? And heel-toe. I was gonna say, just pull your belly in a little bit so you don't let your pelvis go too crazy. I don't mind if the pelvis goes a little bit, but not, like, so crazy. And then heel-toe back in, you've got it.

And then step over. And she's already done that, too, so she's a little high. All right. So we're gonna go, just finish with front splits. And that's a two-springer.

All right. You pick a foot. You can go on the ball of the foot or the arch. Let's go on the ball of the foot, though. Because here's where you, again, get to work this arch a little bit to be in charge of things.

Hands come down, heel-toe to the opposite shoulder block. Nice. Now, you wanna get as low as you can get without hanging, so being square, right? But you're standing here, you're not dropping. You're standing in the ball of the foot into the foot bar.

Okay? And then you're gonna stay low, stay low, stay low, stay low, stay low. And then come back in. And if you can, get your front toes down a little bit. Yeah, like, that way, yeah.

And then your toe's up. So you're on the ball of the foot, right, and no weight here, yes, so you're really on the ball of the foot. Can you get off of those? It's challenging. There we go, that's better.

Okay. And we're trying to be here. Right? We're not here, we're not here. We're trying to be on the balls of the feet, the feet, and then stretch the legs apart.

Just like you did in the side splits, right? Stay low and push your feet apart. Yes. And come back in and just stay as square as you can. Lift your head a little bit.

And then push out, push your feet apart from each other and try not to drop or twist. Yes. So this foot stays pretty much where it is, and you've gotta do something else somewhere else. Yes! And come back in. Yes.

And switch your feet. Front foot can come down first. Yeah. And then switch, come to standing. All right.

So you've gotta get that front foot right where you want it so that it can push like it did in stomach massage. Right? Yeah. So the heel is not hanging, the heel does not have weight in it, the heel is suspended. And then that changes the whole way everything comes from you foot to your lungs to your eyes, right? So we're not hanging, we're standing.

Yes. And we're standing. And just look up a little bit. And try to keep your front heel up. So you push out versus drop down, and come back in.

Okay? So eyes are up a little bit, just so it's not hanging, this isn't hanging. You're pushing your feet apart. Push 'em apart. Sometimes I like to think that this part of the foot is like the point of the arrow, right?

The actual point of the arrow, and it's not here, though. It's not the toes. It's the arch of the foot is pointing in. And you keep shooting that point, yes. Right.

That's why I think you need to get a little lower, so you can push into the bar versus stand on top of the bar. Yes, that way, there you go. Push. Yeah, so you've gotta get it where it needs to be or you'll overwork. Yeah.

So there's no overworking. There's letting go and allowing. Exactly. Right? Wanna do one more? Yeah.

Relax your back. Stand on your feet. Trust that your feet are gonna be there and free everything else. And then come back home. Nice.

And then pike up, put your front foot down, and then step off. Good job! Nicely done. Yay!

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4 people like this.
Thank you. I really enjoyed this class which made me realize that I was focusing on exhalation and not enough on inhalation. Big Difference!!!
1 person likes this.
thank you , beautiful class
1 person likes this.
Amy this really helps to look at the reformer work from a whole different perspective. Linking this class to the mat class makes everything quite clear. I also love the cheetah image for knee stretch for my clients. Do you use this same idea for people who are just starting with Pilates?
1 person likes this.
Thanks Amy! You always bring me back to what Pilates is for and how much fun it can be.
1 person likes this.
Your reformer classes literally breathe new life into every exercise. I always look forward to seeing them and wish there were more!
Teaching has been reassuring the last 2 days, since participating in this class! I and clients truly benefit from your commitment to the Pilates principles and your teaching of these principles on every level!!! So simple and profound is the method's efficacy. True genius. (You as well as Joe:) I am so joyous, inspired and honored to be on this path with you!!!

2 people like this.
Would appreciate knowing springs used throughout video. Hard to tell what is being used.
1 person likes this.
I would also appreciate it if you could reply with specific spring info for all the exercises. It's such a great class that I want to do on a regular basis. Thank you.
I think I might have liked this class, but she races through the transitions which made what was supposed to be a healing class stressful. In the balance between too talky and too succint, this is way, way on the side of too succint.
I couldn't continue with this class. Too frustrating - assumes way too much knowledge of terms instead of instructing how to do them well, and almost no information about springs used.
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