Hi guys, I know that you, probably just like me, don't have a lot of extra time to fit a workout into your schedule, a long workout, every single day, so, we're gonna play on the reformer for about 30 minutes and see how much we can get done. I think we can get a lot done, so, I've set up for foot work, I have three red springs and a blue, you organize around what you would like for your foot work and we'll start lying on our back. So, always just taking a minute, just a short moment to feel into your body. Right, to notice the length of the spine along the reformer, to notice that the tailbone is dropped. To bring awareness to the length of the arms and the breadth or the wideness of the shoulders with the shoulder blades laying flat and not pinched together.
And then bringing awareness to our breath and starting to move right away, let's inhale. And as we exhale, we'll draw the abdominals in and flatten the lower spine, rolling just to the bottom of the rib cage, and then inhale, roll back down and arch the back and feel the head slide along the headrest. And then, again, exhale, flattening the spine, tip the tailbone up, roll to the bottom of the ribs and then reach back out and we'll just do that one more time. I rarely start a movement practice without some sort of spinal articulation and it's usually a pelvic curl, and here we go. Exhale, lowering the lower spine, rolling the hips up, feeling the knees stretch out long over the feet, feeling the long, long, long length of the arms, straight.
Noticing the height of the pelvis is level on both sides, inhale. And then exhale, dropping the chest through the arms, feel the bones of the middle back. And then rolling through the spine, creating a deep curvature of the lower spine, until finally the tailbone drops down and back and the heaviness of the pelvis comes down into the reformer. And exhale, curl, pressing down into the feet, pulling back with the heels, send the knees forward energetically as the heels pull back. All that in an effort to turn on the back of the legs, exhale to roll down.
Lengthening, so could you imagine or could you create the idea or the feeling of length, getting longer as you lay your spine down each time and again, exhaling to lift up, heels pressing down, heels drawing back, fingertips reaching out towards the heels, pelvis level at the top. Inhale and exhale peeling down. So, letting the spine move like a wave, moving with ease, moving with fluidity. One more time, exhale to roll up. That's always my quest, to work with control, to work with precision, to work with power, but also to see if I can move into the ease, move into the ease.
Tailbone dropping, coming all the way down, reach back, take your hands either to the pegs where the straps live or onto the outside of the frame, tipping the elbows up, widening the scapula, lifting the legs up one at a time, inhale, let's tip the pelvis to the right and exhale, coming back through center. Inhale as you draw back through the center of the body, tipping the knees to the opposite side, exhale to pull back. Feel that there's a relationship, a moving relationship, a deep relationship to the rotation of the spine, we're just doing gentle rotation at this moment, inhaling, as we reach over and exhaling as we pull back. Now, let's do two more, inhale to reach across and exhale to come back and inhale to reach across and exhale to come back. Place, reach the arms up over the shoulders, inhale here, exhale, curl the head and chest up, imagine that you could reach up and touch the footbar, then lift the arms up, keep the body lifted, lay the body down.
We'll do that three times. Exhale to curl the head and chest up. Hold, tailbone heavy, inhale, lift the arms and then, as the arms start to reach up towards the ceiling, allow the upper body to come back down, one more, exhale to lift the head and chest, pause there, inhale, lift the arms up, bring them behind the head and then feel the weight of the head drop into the hands, shoulder blades wide on the outside of the ribs like a hammock, send the legs out and back. Inhale and exhale, breathing in and breathing out, holding the height of the trunk consistently throughout, feeling the energetic reaching of the legs just warming up the center of the body in this moment. We'll do three, and pull.
Two, and pull. One, and pull, send one leg over the bar, the other leg over the bar. Feel that the knee that's bending towards the body is stopping just past 90, as though there's a wall there that it comes up to push into. As the knee pushes into that imaginary wall, lift the chest towards it, so you're pulling the chest towards the knees, throughout. Last time and then we add rotations.
So, twist, lift and lift, feel the rotation coming, not from the neck or from the shoulders, but from rotating around the ribs. And here's four, four. Staying lifted off the shoulders throughout, two and one, one, bend the knees and lift the chest up more. Heels come on to the bar, head comes down, arms reach down. Here we go, into our four, we press out and pull in.
I'm gonna lift my headrest up, I enjoy seeing my feet and press out and bend in. Feel the ribs heavy in the space beneath the shoulders, so, shoulders, again, are wide, back of the ribs are heavy. We're working the springs in both directions, feeling an even weight throughout both legs and we go four, pull back, three, pull back, two... and one, bend in and pulse, two, three, just five and reach out, bend in. Moving to the toes, feeling the toes, all 10 toes wrapping around the bar press the carriage away.
Find that nice lifted heel position then keep the heels still as you bend and reach and pull. So, elongating, contracting, every once in a while, maybe every second repetition, check where your ribs are in space, not in the sense that you have to hold 'em really heavy, but just that they're soft, just that they're soft, and not trying to arch away from the bed. Let's do four and pull. Three, stretch, bend, two, long arms and one, and bend and pulse five, four, deepen through the abdominals, two, one, so, using this leg work, using the footwork as a resource to warm up the whole body, to get the large muscles of the body working. Heels together toes apart, wrap through the hips and stretch, pull in, wrap.
As the legs are straightening, can you feel your arms reaching longer on the reformer? Like the arms and the legs are pulling in opposite directions, wrapping through the back of the hips. Moving with the breath, we'll do two more here. Out and back, out, feel the tightness, the deep squeeze of the heels and push, pull, two, three, four, stretch out all the way, bring the carriage back in. Take the heels out to the outside of the bar, feel that there's a slight inner thigh engagement, working through the inside, the inseams of the legs and we pull.
Reach out, straighten the knees completely and bend and out and pull. The length of the neck, reaching long, the arms reaching long. The breath moving with the repetitions and four, pull in, three, pull in, two, attempting in this short movement practice take to get as many things working as we can. Here's our last one right now. We're feelin' our legs I hope and bend and out and pull, two, three, never riding the springs and stretch out long and bend.
Moving to the toes, keeping that same wide knee position and out and bend. So, for me, I'm gonna say the rib thing again 'cause that's something that I really have to think about, just the softness or like a dropping of the sternum into the carriage. It's a quite common thing, to try to press the shoulders back and lift the chest, when really, we could widen the shoulders and drop the chest. And still have great alignment. So, just something to think about, that.
Last time, and pull out, in, two, three, four, stretch out all the way and bend. Bringing the feet to the center of the bar, on the toes, we'll reach out and then lower and lift and lower, wrapping the toes around the bar as the heels reach under, wrapping from the back of the legs as the heels lift up, so, controlling the movement in both directions, never just dropping into the spring. Getting that full articulation of the foot, we'll do two more. And last one. And then we alternate, down, up, down.
As you go through this relatively quick pattern, with the legs shifting from side to side, can you feel that there's total stability of the pelvis but at the same time can you really reach into the stretch, reach into the stretch, lift into the high point of the feet? So, there's strong activity, lots to think about. We'll do two more to each side. One, I'm just gonna pause here for a second, let my calf to have a little stretch. Reaching under the bar.
And then we'll switch over to the other side, reaching the heel underneath the bar. Breathing. And then up and then in. Roll to your side, help yourself up. Let's go down to one spring, I'm gonna use one red. Turning around, take the head rest down so we can put our feet on it.
If your head rest is already down, that's awesome. So, bring your heels onto the headrest and the straps into your hands, I'm gonna just hold right above those buckles. So, lifting the spine up nice and straight, sitting tall, bend your arms to the outsides of you, stretch the arms out to the sides and then as the arms reach forward, begin to round the spine, as the spine rounds, roll back into the reformer. Pause and inhale. Exhale, feel that you curl into yourself. Roll all the way up and lift up tall.
I'm just gonna take a moment and be real, I'm not centered and I want to be. So, thank you for helping me support that. Bend, stretch, round, so like your drawing back against the tension of the springs. Roll back, feel the lower spine come into contact with the carriage, inhale, exhale, curl through the spine, find shoulders over hips, bend your arms, lift your back, stretch your arms, round your spine. And do that three more times, curling back, inhale, exhale, rolling up.
So, moving, fluid, feel the body, moving fluidly through space, stretch the arms, round the spine, last two. Pause, breathe, contract, round, bend, elongate, stretch the arms, staying at the bottom on this one, round the spine and roll back, pausing at the bottom, we'll inhale and then curl. So, I like to play a little game with myself where I try to round my spine and not actually move the carriage. So, that's what's happening in my experience here, so, it's a real small movement, so, working into the deep flexion of the lower spine, last two, one more, adding a leg lift, come down, lift the left leg, lift that same little bit and down, curl in, lift the right leg that same little bit, really deepening into the center of the body. How much can you get your abdominals to pull flat, to hollow, to scoop?
And we'll do one more like that and one more and here's a good challenge, guys, lighten up on your feet, lift the feet, and now little curls with the body, up. So, the challenge for me is to lift the feet without losing control in my pelvis. One more time, one more time, now start to roll towards the thighs, level hips, lift the spine, place the feet down, sit up all the way, inhale. As you exhale, turn the left hand up, rotate and pull back on the spring, inhale, lift all the way up. Exhale, right arm rotates and we dig deep into those obliques, inhale lift, exhale, pull rotate, looking where you're going, so, looking back over that shoulder.
If this feels a little too heavy, it's fine to go down to a little bit of a lighter spring. It's almost too heavy for me, almost too heavy to stabilize against, but not quite, I'm gonna do it. And then both arms up, spine in the middle, rolling down, rotating to the left and lift, five, four, really honing in, three... Two... one, find center, rotating to the right and lift, five, four and three, two...
one, come to center, roll up, lift the spine, bend the arms, take the arms back, gotta work a heavy spring when we're short on time, get the most out of our time and now rotating to the left, lift the left leg, small lift, down, to the right, lift, so, can you, as you put one leg down and lift the other leg up, do it with a real integrous action, can we not allow any movement, any rotation of the pelvis at all? Keep it small, keep it low. Work with your breath, we're gonna do one more to each side, enjoy, here it is. And now center, roll all the way up, bend your arms, this time, as your arms straighten, reach and extend through the chest, take the arms forward, reach forward, hang up the straps. Straighten the legs.
Always, if it's hard for you to have straight legs and a straight back, keep the knees bent or sit up on something. Always a good idea to check your straps, make sure they're nice and even, so, lifting the spine into an upright position, taking the arms just in front of the pelvis, drawing the abdominals back towards the spine and now taking the arms back and just forward, so, spine is staying steady, the reach of the arms is coming, not just from the hands, and not at all from the hands, actually, from the back and from the drawing down of the shoulder blades. The spine, as the arms are reaching down, is attempting to lift up. So, let's do two more like that, and last time, reach out, take the straps over the elbows. Lifting tall, take the arms out to the sides, send the elbows forward as you reach your thumbs back, lifting tall through the spine and the arms come forward.
As the arms open, feel as though the scapula are trying to spread, not squeeze, and back, we'll do three more, reaching up, lifting through the arms and two more. As the arms reach back, the abdominals pull back as well, you've got something to check, if you've got a mirror or something, make sure that the spine is in an upright position and not leaning back, we're gonna add some back extension to this, so we're gonna open the arms, gonna send the elbows forward and we're gonna start lifting, it's more of a up and forward feeling through the chest than a backward lean. Come back to upright, bring the arms through, open the arms, send the elbows forward, the thumbs back, lift the sternum. Come back to upright and bring the arms through, let's do that one more time, open, reach up and back, come back, bring the arms through, reach through to hold, once again, just above the buckles, lifting the spine, bend the left arm and reach the right arm forward. I like the visual of a bow and arrow energy, so that, as one arm is bending to pull back, the other one's actively reaching forward.
The spine is spiraling. The hips and the feet and the pelvis are stable, still, soft. Last two, pushing that straight arm forward, and two... and one, so, we get that nice spinal rotation, a little bit of oblique action and then, reaching forward, hold the straps in one hand, reach back and give yourself a little bit more spring if you want, I'm gonna take us into some biceps. I'm gonna add a red spring, which is quite a tough challenge for me but I am up to the challenge.
So, starting with the arms just in front of the shoulders, bend the elbows and straighten, so, the challenge, for me anyway, is to keep the upper arms very still, right, so we get a little bit of work through the deltoids as well as a work though the biceps, the arms can bend as much as they can without the elbows lifting or lowering, the body is upright, the abdominals are in, we'll do four more. Shoulders are steady, three, stretch all the way out, two, all the way out, one. And then come back, so when I'm short of time and trying to get a lot of movements in, I usually stick with pretty simple things, pretty simple things, lean back, I've reached through to hold onto my ropes again, we're gonna bend and reach, pull back, so, even though we're in a flat back, can we feel that there's support, can we feel the abdominals working, supporting the spine? The ribs are soft, the back of the arms are our target focus here and we've got four, three... Two...
and one. Reach down, hang up the straps. Turn over onto your back. I'm just gonna keep those two red springs. You can also lower the springs or lighten the springs if that better for you.
We're gonna go into some hip work. So, head is down, pick up the straps, put them on the feet. Starting with the legs, towards the ceiling, keeping the pelvis heavy, take a minute, get sorted, get aligned and then fire the back of the legs, before the legs even move, feel the muscles in the back of the legs ignite, for lack of a better word, reach out, work the legs back together. So, something I'm working on, on a pretty regular basis, is really smoothing out that circle, really trying to be very symmetrical, which is challenging for me. Challenging for a lot of people, but I think the process of just noticing, just noticing, is one leg faster, does one hip want to lift up off the bed, can we keep the pelvis light on the reformer but also keep it anchored on the reformer?
We'll do three more. Now, keeping the rotation in the hips, two more, around and back. Last one, around and back and then together and then open, press from the back of the legs, draw in and up through the waist like you're stretching your body in both directions and lift, open, press down and together and lift. Open, press down and together and lift, nice, supple movement. Lubricating the hip joints, keeping them free, flexible, let's do one more.
And then feeling the legs come just in front of the eye line, send the legs out to the side, go wide, go wide, go wide, keep a little quadriceps so the knees down hyper extend and draw the legs back together, I imagine pushing two heavy doors together with my legs, inhale, notice, does one leg want to come to the center first, does the strap on one leg feel heavier? That's an interesting inquiry. Can I keep the weight equal in both legs? Feel that the heels are just sliding, skimming across a surface so they're not dropping when the legs are opening but, almost, the feeling is almost that they lift as the open, is that they rise a little bit. Let's do two more.
Last time. And then fold the body in half, keeping the external rotation of the hips, bring the carriage all the way and if your head rises up, make sure to take it down, here, exhale, rolling up onto the shoulders, keeping the carriage at the stopper, pause when you get to your shoulders and bend your knees. Deepen through the abdominals, roll the spine down, dropping the knees down towards the outsides of the ribs, dropping the hips, flexing the feet and bringing the legs across the top and then forward. Fold in half. Lift up.
Bend the knees and roll down, dropping the thigh bones towards the ribs, keeping the carriage still until that very last moment where you flex and bring the legs across, last time, reach out and over, deepening, really contracting to support and stabilize that stretch, that lower spinal stretch, bend. And... down. And then here, at the bottom, let's just separate the feet, flex, if you put the elbows on the insides of the knees and push out, pull down on your straps and at the same time, try to drop into the pelvis, so, we just open up the hips here, take a couple of breaths. And then take the feet out of the straps.
Alright, guys, I don't think I can quite make it in 30 minutes, so, we're gonna go five more minutes. So, because there is not one of us who doesn't need a hip flexor stretch. You can argue with me all you want, but I will disagree with you forever. So, we're gonna place the knee up against the shoulder block and we're gonna bend that outside leg and we're gonna reach down, reaching down, opening up the front of the body, lifting the spine away from the bar. Pausing, just pausing here and breathing and feeling that beautiful stretch in the front of the body, keep the right hand on the bar, lift the left arm up and bend to the right.
Hand comes down, carriage comes in, step up, walk around to the other side. The other leg back up against the shoulder block, front knee bends as we now sink down into that stretch. We're nice and low, lifting up, away from the bar, pausing, so the same leg that's getting a stretch, the same arm lifts up, we side bend away from that leg. Hands come back, carriage comes in, step up, take the bar down. Gonna do some side overs, side overs on the box, if you know me, you'll know they're my favorite.
I just think they're so, you get a lot of bang for you buck, is what I think, you get some good, solid work, a nice stretch, and it's a pretty quick. So, were gonna take the foot under the strap. We're gonna reach over, put the hand on the headrest, hands behind the head and then we're gonna go all the way into the frame and reach out for five. Inhale, keeping the head in line with the spine, and reach out for four. And all the way down.
And lift up. Keeping that strap leg straight, last two... and one more. Reach down with your hand, put it on the floor, take the opposite arm, reach overhead, feel that the opposite leg is pushing away from you and then take the body around, rotate towards the floor and pull forward into that stretch. Come up all the way, turn yourself around, switch sides, switch feet.
Leg comes up onto the box. My other leg is straight, one hand, bend the other behind the head and inhale and exhale... and inhaling, over... exhaling up. Breathing, following the breath.
Last two. Last time. Reach over, hand comes down, opposite arm is reaching overhead, legs pulling out in the opposite direction. We're gonna rotate around, stretch the spine forward. And, as much as it'd be delightful to stay there for quite awhile, we're gonna move on.
Turning the box long-ways, taking the spring down, one blue is my preference here and lying on the reformer. Reaching the arms high up the frame, energizing the legs so they're just as high as the box, start feeling that the scapula glides down the back, the gliding of the scapula sends the energy of our lift, of our spinal lift, into the middle of the back, the upper back and then we resist back down. Legs are energetically reaching, they're not higher than the box but they're trying just to stay just like hovering off the box, pulling the spine forward and up, trying to open up through the center of the chest and resisting back down, we'll do three more. Sliding the shoulder blades down, reaching out and up. And work the down just as much as you work the up, last two, reaching out, lifting up.
And back, last time, holding at the top, finding that middle back energy and just pulse, five, controlled, easy... Challenged... Last time. And then reach all the way back down, take the hands to the front of the box, straddle the box, sit up and then just placing the feet up onto the reformer, hold the edge of the box and curl back, tucking the tail under so we get a nice, deep stretch through the spine. And then lifting up, all the way and going on with whatever's next in our day.
Thank you for taking class with me.