When you are a busy teacher in a studio, you tend to need to draw inspiration from many different places to keep your work fresh and inspiring not only to your clients, but to yourself. So for today's Reformer session, I have drawn inspiration from one of my favorite musicals, and I'm gonna see if you can guess which one it is by the end of class. So I'm on balance body, two red springs, and we're gonna stay here primarily throughout. You can choose to maybe switch out for a blue or add a blue if you need to throughout the exercises, but I think we'll be okay on the two reds. Let's start standing up nice and tall.
We're gonna sweep our arms up and over and place our hands onto the bar. Sweep the leg around and go ahead and have a seat really close to the edge of the carriage. We're gonna just start with a few spinal mechanics. So we'll breathe in, lengthening up, (inhales) and exhale, just roll the pelvis back, seeing if we can open up the back of the waist, deepen the belly. Inhale, lift up (inhales).
And pelvic tilt back. I'm not really letting my legs, my knees move back and forward too much, cuz I'm trying to get a little opening in my inner thighs. One more (inhales). And exhale, reach back. Then we inhale to lift (inhales).
And then we'll hinge, and as I hinge I'm gonna reach my knees out to get a nice inner thigh stretch, long line of the body. Inhale, lift (inhales). Lean forward. Bend the elbows. Inhale, lift. (inhales) Being conscious I am of my ribs, connected both front and back. Last one (inhales). Come forward.
And reach the arms out and kind of take a long spinal balance here and pulse through your hip flexors. Two, three, four, five, six, seven, and then let's lift up through center, and we'll rotate towards me and back to the center. (exhales) Rotate (inhales). And center (exhales). And this time as you rotate lift your heels (inhales).
And place them down (exhales). Getting deeper into our hip folds (exhales). One more each side. (inhales then exhales) Last one (inhales). And to center, and then we'll take a side bend towards me, reaching over, keeping your body into that toaster slot and then open your arm and sweep your body forward around in front of the foot bar to come back to the center.
Open the other arm, sweep your body around, kind of bending and stretching out that back. Open, sweep it around, and up. And last one open, excuse me, sweep it around, (inhales) and up. Then you take the hands to the back of the rails. Contract back, and then let's see if we can use the hips to lift the legs up, flex the feet, and place the balls of the feet onto the bar.
Now, I'm not using a sticky, because I'm going to trust my sits bones today, but if you need a sticky for stomach massage go for it. For right now, we're gonna check in with the story of our body. So where are those hips, where are those feet, and we're just gonna press all the way out, nice light hold at the edge of the carriage. Rounding the spine, let's check in with the heels. Flex the feet, lift up, and then fold all the way in as much as we can.
Pressing back (inhales). Then lower the heels (exhales). This is an element of both a deep squat, and also our foot articulation. And I find it nice to change things up every once in a while. Open up my lower back, my upper back, deepen my abdominals with a start of my session and stomach massage.
(exhales) I guess also massaging my internal organs as one does in this piece. (laughs) One attempts to do. One more time. Lower the heels, lift, and come up. We're gonna lift the arms up overhead, if you can we're gonna reach them back around to the shoulder rest.
Lift up and use the hands to facilitate a lift to get into your spinal extensors, but try not to sit or post into your arms. And from here we press out (inhales). Lower the heels (exhales). Lift and come in. Just setting ourselves up with the first few.
Lift and come in. This time press out as you lower your heels. Lift your arms off, and come in again (inhales). And lift (exhales) up, and in. Two more. (inhales and exhales) Last one (inhales and exhales).
And up and in, press out all the way. Lifting up, rising up, reaching up, as high as you can, we'll keep it nice and vertical, and just plie. Bend the knees in, try not to (exhales) collapse and then lift (laughs) back out. We'll bend in. Inhale (inhales). Exhale (exhales).
Inhale (inhales). Exhale (exhales). Two more (inhales and exhales). And last one (inhales), and all the way in. We're gonna go ahead and take our hands onto the mat, you can actually scoot yourself in and we'll roll right down for our footwork. And I'm gonna keep the bar low, just for a different sensation through my hips.
It should be easier as it's lighter. We're gonna go ahead and take our feet up to the ceiling, flex the feet back, curl the toes, and then bend and find our prehensile, and then you can kind of maneuver your feet around to get those toes nice and active on the bar. We're just gonna send back (inhales), and pull it in (exhales). And again, (inhales and exhales). So now in a more open position of your hips, what story are they telling you, what are they going to need today as we move in and out of positions?
(exhales) Last one. (inhales and exhales) Little pulses going out and in. Out and in. Pushing and pulling with a good amount of energy, and the focus is truly on managing that one. Let's do four more: three, two, come in to stay, we'll take a full breath to go out (inhales and exhales).
Reset the arms, breathe into the back (inhales). Come all the way in (exhales). And let the legs rise to the ceiling, flex the feet, and point (exhales). Flex (inhales and exhales). We're gonna flex and bend and place the heels, there they are, onto the bar.
And just four presses back to feel two legs, and pulling in. And two (inhales and exhales). (inhales and exhales) One more out, and all the way in. We're gonna press out to stay, solid hips, reach the arms all the way out and bend your knees in, your knee in, and we're gonna create a little asymmetric connection between the hands and the knee. And so my heel is precarious because I'm comfortable being uncomfortable there.
But if you want a little more surface position on your heel you can certainly have it, I just like challenging myself and this is my leg's chance to get a shot at balancing okay so we're deepening, bending in, I've got a nice connection, a bond between my right knee and my hands. So that means back is engaged, belly is engaged, hip flexors. (inhales) certainly the dorsiflexors along the front of my ankles (exhales). Let's go three (inhales and exhales). And two (inhales and exhales).
And one, and we are gonna pulse from here. We're gonna go out and in, nice and easy. Again, giving your side hip muscles a shot to turn on, to show up. Last four, three, two, and in. Press all the way out from here.
We're gonna point the foot and extend up to the ceiling hopefully without moving the thigh. Open your arms, holding the world in your hands, small circles around and up. Small enough so that you don't lose your connection. (inhales and exhales) One more towards midline. And then we reverse. (inhales and exhales) Breathing through each moment.
Last one. Good. Flex the foot, reach all the way down, we're gonna close the carriage, closing the arms, and open. Hugging the world in our hands and then making a wide space. Two (exhales). And one more (inhales).
All the way up, and draw your left knee up and crossing over the opposite side. Press knee into hands, hands into knees, feel that hip flexor fire up, take a deep breath and bend all the way in. Inhale (inhales), and exhale (exhales). (inhales and exhales) So the whole intention of today's class is to bring space and connection and articulation to all of the joints of the spine as well as the body so that we might rise up to a new level of height, width in all of it at the end. And in, let's do little pulses.
Out and in (exhales). (inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) Last set here (exhales). And in and press all the way back, point your left foot, and extend, hopefully keeping your thigh right where it's at. Expand your arms once again, crossing midline, reaching around, wee! And two, continue to press strong into that supporting side. The last one (exhales), and reverse.
(inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) And one more, and very good. Flex the foot, place, and come all the way in to lower down. So we'll reach back and take the headrest down, and we'll go into some pelvic thrusts. So I'd like to take this just on the foot bar in the same position and we're going to go ahead and have the legs about hip width distance apart, and today for a little challenge we're going to play with the idea of width, which is a nice theme in my life right now. Getting wider.
The world is wide enough for me to get wider for sure. So we're gonna reach the arms up to the ceiling and plant the shoulder blades down as we start to peel (inhales) up towards the ceiling, reaching the knees out. In general pretty simple articulation, preparing us for some fun things later. And just seeing again where are we, what do we need to be aware of? (inhales and exhales) Now as we start to get a little bit more comfortable, we're gonna start to open up a bit more, so this time press up to the top, we're gonna open the arm and drop the hip down and begin to roll down through the spine as we reach all the way down to the hip.
Just creating a sense of width over on this side and then we'll roll back up through the center to come all the way up and close the arm to the top. Open your right arm, tilt your hips to the bottom, and roll all the way down along one side, and then peel back up along the center and come up. Let's do that a couple more times. So open the arm, tilt the hips, reaching down through the ribcage, trying to widen your waist, widen your hip (inhales). And then peel back up to the top (exhales) coming back to center (inhales).
Last one, tilt and roll down (exhales). Reaching all the way down (inhales). And then coming all the way back up (exhales). And back to center and let's stay and let's open the arms as we press the legs out. Lift the hips to come all the way in, wee! Again open (inhales), and exhale (exhales).
Two more. Open (inhales). Really balancing and challenging my upper body to bear weight (inhales). Not my head, but my shoulders. Let's hold here and we're gonna roll down nice and easy. I'm kind of letting my arms roll down with me cuz that feels like a natural thing to do.
And then (exhales) release all the way down. Alright, so from here we're gonna go into a little bit of corkscrew because I think we're ready for that. I'll keep it nice and simple, we're gonna draw the legs up to the ceiling, and from here let's take our rollover, scooping the hips, pressing up. Let's just do a couple repetitions. Opening, flexing, and roll down.
Pressing wide through both sides of the spine so that last exercise is a nice way to warm up (inhales) to get connected to the mat. Open (inhales) flex and roll down. (inhales and exhales) Let's stay here this time, pointing, rolling over with open legs, and close, flex, and reach (exhales). Pointing and open, and roll over. Again, we've got a lot of work to do, so I'm just keeping this simple and in the realm of what I know I can do with some control.
Good. Alright, here we go corkscrew. Rolling over. Good. We're gonna look our pelvis, our sacrum to the left as the legs reach to the right. Roll down along that right side of the spine, just as you did in the pelvic press circle around, up along the left side, and find center. Look right with the sacrum and roll down.
Weee, around, and all the way up. Good. And look. (inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) And one more (inhales and exhales). Around and come back up and roll all the way down through the spine, bend your knees, go ahead and place them to the bar and we're gonna go ahead and get the straps for our hands. Going into a little abdominal battle for a moment, arms to the ceiling, draw the legs up, we're gonna curl the head and shoulders forward, inhale and exhale (exhales).
Check in with that and then roll back down. (inhales and exhales) Next one we go up to stay (inhales), turning up the heat a little bit, two counts in, two counts out (inhaling and exhaling twice each). Extend the legs up to the ceiling. (inhales and exhales twice each) Rallying the troops in our body trying to connect every single molecule into this exercise. Lower down one third of your max, breathe in.
(repeatedly inhales and exhales twice each) Lower it again (repeatedly inhales twice and exhales twice). Last chance to lower, for four (inhales and exhales twice), three (inhales and exhales twice), two (inhales and exhales twice), one (inhales and exhales twice). Knees into the chest, and lower all the way down. Nice work. Alright, let's go ahead and take the straps on to our hooks.
We're gonna take the feet down. We're gonna see if we can rise up here. Curling forward, wee, making it a little (exhales) all the way to the top. Okay! Scooting back. So this next exercise is a knee stretch, but we're gonna play around with what it feels like to be helpless.
Meaning that there are no springs, so that we only have our own self to call on. So I'm gonna go ahead and disconnect my springs, safely of course. Hands onto the foot bar, woo, here we go. Okay. So if I have no springs in my life around my body, then what am I gonna do with myself? Well let's see.
So from here, let's first feel the fold in the hip, we'll take a flat back position, and I'm just gonna slowly check in, how far can I press that carriage out? Just that far, and slowly bring it back in, easy. Breathing in (inhales), and breathing out. And I'm really concentrating on the connection of my hands against my foot bar. So I have a bond there (exhales).
Good. Breath in (inhales). You could say the bar is my captain, and I am the general. I don't know if you're there yet with me. Breathing in, and breathing out (exhales). Breathing in (inhales), and breathing out (exhales).
And from here we're gonna roll up into our flexion, hugging knees in a little closer, and then without letting that tail release, inhale back and exhale in, good. And as you know, when you're working with no springs, there really is more of an emphasis on your ability to feel and maintain the connection to the shape and how do you get that really strong in your body and your brain without losing control of the carriage. Two more (exhales). Last one, (inhales and exhales). Good, and then let's just reach down and we'll reattach two red springs, and let the feet go for a moment, and just stretch back just a little tiny child's pose, and then we'll come up.
So we're gonna move into a piece called upstretch combo. It's a combination of stomach pull, or upstretch, with a little knee stretch in between, a little jackrabbit. So we're gonna hike ourselves up, find your releve, or lifted heel position. And for me we're gonna go into a really long spine, so shifting the hips back. Now I have it on the same position of the bar that I had from the beginning, but if you need the bar higher, so be it.
You choose what's gonna help you achieve stability in this position. We're working from the backs of the legs to press the carriage out, and lifting from the apex of the pelvis, the hips, to come up. So hopefully, what you're seeing is that it's like a triangle that's getting wider and more narrow, and this is just my upstretch. Breathing in (inhales) and lifting up through the center, breathing out. Two more (inhales and exhales).
(inhales) And last one, lifting up. Alright, so from here I'm up, my carriage is in. I'm gonna curl my tail under, round my spine, and come down as close as I can into a jackrabbit position. Drive the carriage out, still slightly rounded in the upper back, lift the pelvis, articulate the spine to a flat back. Hard to do and talk at the same time.
So curling (inhales and exhales), press (inhales and exhales), lift and extend all the way up. It's hard to continue that sense of extension for your upper back when you can't feel anything against it but (inhales) we're gonna do the best we can (exhales). Driving back (inhales and exhales), and peeling up (inhales) and reaching, and then we reverse, press back to your plank, rounding the upper body, drawing the belly in, drawing the knees under, and articulating through the hips back to that flat back position to pike. (inhales and exhales) Pull in (inhales and exhales), and reach (inhales and exhales). One more time (inhales and exhales).
(inhales and exhales) (inhales) And extend, good. And then come all the way back down for a moment of rest. And now we get to theoretically and actually let it all hang out a little bit for semicircle. So we're gonna come forward. My favorite way to get into semicircle is a little bit avant garde.
I like to hook my legs over the foot bar, kind of scoot my sits bones almost off the edge of the mat. I'm gonna roll down and back (exhales). From here I can use the foot bar to hug my hamstrings into, as I make my sweaty way back to the arms overhead. This position or this exercise for me is about legs and articulation, it's not about arms, so I wanna be in a place where I can just use my arms as kind of like a kickstand, versus having a lot of pressure through my shoulders. So once I'm here, I'm gonna step back up onto the bar, find my turnout position, I'm gonna lift up.
And for a moment I'm just gonna wait for it. I'm just gonna let my spine open as much as it can, and I'm gonna use that theme throughout this exercise to see if I can facilitate a little more articulation. So I'll press back to pause (exhales). I'm gonna take another breath (inhales), let's let the sternum roll through, and almost feel like the back is rounding until the lower ribs get below the carriage, wait for it, and then allow your sits bones to reach through. I try to make it so my sits bones can show out beneath the rails.
Maybe you're like me. And then we get to ride the springs on the way in, so it's kind of fun. Tickle the side bolts as I say. Lifting all the way up. Once again, waiting for that length (inhales).
Pressing out (exhales), rolling down, heart through to the shoulder blades, finding that scoop before the release, let the tailbone flip back like a rudder, and then fold deep in the hips as you come in, and then peel up, looking and waiting for the moment when we can deepen all the way in. Let's do one more in that position. (inhales and exhales) So by taking it a little slower (inhales) and waiting to see those opportunities I can oftentimes get a little more articulation out of those sticky spots. (inhales and exhales) And peeling up (inhales and exhales). And now we get to reverse.
Lifting (inhales) and all the way down (exhales). I'm a little longer, so I've gotta give myself a little space (inhales). I drag my sit bones along the floor as I reach back, and then curl up. The carriage isn't moving because my legs are strong. I don't have stoppers, (inhales) I don't need 'em.
I've got them in my hamstrings. And then roll down (exhales). Plus there's something awful that I find about misjudging the distance and crashing into those stoppers, so I like to find the position, feel it in my muscles, and roll all the way up to the top. Coming in, that's a little nicer, one more time. (inhales and exhales) It's kind of like at the beginning if I feel like my hips aren't quite so open (inhales), I don't judge them, just wait for the exercise that's gonna get them to open up.
(inhales and exhales) And this is the one (inhales), all the way in. We'll release the arms, take them over to the side bar or even along the top. We can separate the feet and allow your heels to drop as much as possible, and just arc your knees over the foot bar. Find that stretch. Delicious. We'll come back in, hooking, and then making our way back down, after that sweat happens.
And then we'll just let ourselves have a moment of release. (inhales and exhales) Alright, we'll extend the legs, see if we can take a little teaser up, oh we can almost without falling over, and we're gonna come all the way up. Now you have a choice here for the next one which is a bit of a Fletcher Pilates archival piece called Cleopatra. You can choose to stay on two springs. This feels a little bit ...
It feels okay, I'm gonna go for it. Or you can choose to go down to one red if it's more appropriate for your shoulder. But to begin we're gonna have one arm on the foot bar, and one arm just on the outside of the back shoulder rest. And initially I want to try to ground through this hip as much as possible. My shin's up against the shoulder rest, the front shin's up against the edge of the mat.
I'm gonna begin by articulating just my hip, so I'm pressing it forward, I'm trying to extend it, and in extending it I'm also abducting. It's almost like I'm doing a side lift, so if you're cramping you're usually in the right realm, then we come back down. A lot of times we will go shift, and that's not exactly the articulation we're going for, so isolate the hip and come back. Now this piece is called Cleopatra, so when I'm doing this initially I am Cleopatra, like I am expecting servants with large banana leaves and various treats to come in to my reformer any moment. Let's go one more time, embodying, and press down.
And if you are a male, you might choose Julius Caesar, alright? So from here, anchoring that hip down, lifting up, and this is a long side bend, so it's not really short on the underneath side but you should feel like you're connecting your lat. Lifting to come in. This is my banana leaf moment. Picture that big fan breezing air, lifting and lowering.
If you haven't guessed by now, I have a pretty vivid imagination, so this is one of my favorite pieces in the Fletcher syllabus to play along with. 'Cuz it lets me pretend I'm someone else. And lower. One more time! Up and over and from here we're gonna rotate the spine so that we have the arms both on the bar. We'll bend the elbows and as we press back we're gonna pull back through the belly. And bend (inhales) and press back.
Now when we pull back through the belly it might not look like much, but it should feel like you've got a hollowing of your belly. In this position I think of those poor Egyptians who had to build all those pyramids and just push a lot of blocks. Pushing them towards the center. Imagine if we had to do that nowadays. We probably have an app for pyramid building, I dunno.
Pressing, last one. Okay here's the kicker, so we've done a lot of connection to that right arm. We're gonna sweep the opposite arm back and we're gonna do four bends just on the right bend. (inhales) And press, (exhales). And two, upper body stays stable, this is a moment typically where maybe less spring might do.
I'm feeling pretty strong today. One more, bend and press. Now keep that arm long, and this is your Cleopatra moment, you turn and you look and you profile, and you own that diagonal, and then you contract, and you bend and you come all the way in. And again you press (inhales), you're in your shape (exhales), you are queen, and you bend. Or a king (exhales).
(inhales and exhales) And you bend (inhales and exhales). And one more (inhales and exhales). And you bend to come down. We're gonna sweep the front arm forward and bring it all the way up, and then we end this piece with a little drama. We go arm comes up, the hip presses you forward, you place the arm down, and then you lift and lower.
It's two inhales you go (inhales) (inhales and exhales) And lift, (inhales and exhales). And if you're in the privacy of your own home or even your studio, you can get as sassy with this as you want. (inhales twice and exhales) (inhales and exhales) One more (inhales twice and exhales). And lift and lower the hip. Now that hip should be nice and warm, so we're gonna extend it up, da da da, I am a queen.
We're gonna press forward, lift up to passe, and lower down like it was no big deal. Now we're gonna turn around and do the other side. So from here I'm gonna sweep my left arm over to the foot bar, I'm gonna sweep my left leg over to the shoulder rest, and take a nice simple sit. We'll repeat this other side with a little more speed. Pressing the hip forward and lowering down (exhales).
So there's some rumors that Cleopatra had a few elements to her personality and I think the same can be said for our hips (laughs). So paying attention to how these isolations feel is oftentimes a fun and informative way to go about this exercise. Last one (inhales). The sits bone goes down as low as you can and it stays there and then we take our side bend up (inhales) to go over (exhales). And lift pulling the foot bar shoulder down.
We go up (inhales) and over (exhales). Lift to come in. Two more times. Up (inhales and exhales). Lift supported front and back, last time. (inhales) And over and we'll turn the body towards the foot bar.
Both arms come on wide, and rounding as much as is possible, bending, pull the belly back to straighten your arms. (inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) One more (inhales and exhales). Reach the arm behind you, so left arm still on the bar for me. And we bend, find the shoulder blade and press. It's very important to make sure that you're pressing from this area under here, so your lats and lower traps, all your good stabilizing muscles are active and you're not just making your traps scream.
Last one (exhales). Then we're gonna roll to that moment, hello. And then turn and contract to bend in. Send the arm out, find the rotation, pause, and turn (inhales and exhales). And instead of finding a hard, contracted pause, can you just find a softness or a calmness in the pause, even though that shoulder I know is definitely talking.
(inhales) And turn (exhales). And all the way in, we'll sweep the arm forward to come up, here comes the drama, and we go inhale (inhales twice and exhales), lift (inhales), and lower. I know from historical perspective sometimes I think Ron may be watching some of this. I wonder what he's gonna say, so I'm thinking history has it's eyes on me, and I'm gonna have to perform. Last one (inhales twice and exhales).
And lift up (inhales) and lower. I hope that was good for you Ron, it felt really good for me. Lifting up again, no big deal, and lower down (laughs). Sometimes if you act like it's no big deal, it really won't be a big deal at all. Alright, coming down for some yummy yummy short spine stretch.
So I'm gonna take my foot bar all the way down. Lifting up, woops. And bring it forward. Again, still on the same spring. Coming all the way down, headrest is still down.
And we'll place. Incidentally, this is a nice way to place if you take both ropes and you kind of make mickey mouse ears with your hands on the inside, then you draw your arms over, you draw your legs in, no muss no fuss, kind of, and then you extend your legs out. So we're gonna begin the short spine series with a series of diamonds. So if a frog is about full flexion, a diamond is about external rotation and width of the knees. So I find my tailbone, rotate out, and I'm going to pull my knees outward, like there's a theraband between them, wrapping those thighs around.
Almost bringing my shins to a parallel position, then pressing from the backs of the legs to rotate in. So we're gonna inhale as we turn out (inhales), and bend, exhale, rotate, and stretch. (inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) Last one (inhales and exhales). From here turn out and bend to stay. And then we'll fold in the hips to lift the diamond shape upward.
And press them downward. My calf is working really hard to cramp right now, and I am saying please don't, not right now. But this is a common position because of the pointed foot and engaged calf to find one of those, there it is, little charlie horse moments, and press. So from here we're gonna go ahead and roll this shape over, it's called diamond rocker. We're gonna try to curl the tail up to bring the shape over, much like our rollover.
The diamond doesn't change. We access the back of our thighs, pressing forward, pulling the belly down to land with control. Sits bones, belly lift, to bring the legs back, and the legs engage as we support our spine down. Two more times (inhales and exhales). Now the other calf's gonna go (inhales and exhales).
Can't have one without the other (inhales and exhales). Beep. And roll (laughs) all the way down. And extend, good alright. Time to stretch everything out. Now we're gonna go progression into baby short spine.
So this is a nice way to teach the different elements of short spine and also to experience the different areas of your spine. So we're going to take the legs up to 90, and then we're gonna do the best we can to bring them all the way in, ideally keeping the tailbone as close to the mat as possible if your hamstrings allow you to. And we'll just have that hamstring stretch experience. From here we're gonna just curl up to the bra line, that's it, just a little lift, curling the pelvis around. Turn out, rotate, and bend the knees to that diamond, and all of a sudden we're in the diamond rocker position once again.
We pull the belly down to the mat and activate the legs to press down (inhales). Then we extend to reach in. Taking it to the ceiling (inhales), and all the way in (exhales). Lifting up just about to your mid back, turn out, and bend, and then squeeze to roll down to place. There's your baby short spine.
You can stay with that or we're gonna go into a full short spine, bringing the legs all the way back, (inhales) and then from here peeling up to the shoulders, lifting higher to turn out, and bend. The diamond's a little squatier on this one. We roll down through the chest, finding that baby short spine and that diamond rocker position, and then we exit the same way that we did the ones before. Let's do that again. Legs to 90, and then bring it all the way in, nice long hamstring stretch, shoulder stand, pressing through wide backs, lift up turn out, bend the knees, a little squatier, articulate down, the carriage is staying still during this articulation, until it's time to bring the lower half down, and extend and reach.
From here let's grab onto the ropes and we're just gonna give ourselves a little adductor stretch, taking a break for a moment before we go on. We're almost there. Open the legs nice and wide, let's flex the feet, and point (exhales). And flex (inhales), and point. I always think about how lucky we are to be able to move our spines in that way.
Essentially to be alive right now. And point, good. Bring the legs up with the help of the arms, go ahead and take the straps off, and we are done with these straps for the time being. And from here, woop, there we go, and then we're gonna lower down and come all the way up to the top, okay. So from here we're going to go ahead and get your short box and we're gonna do some side over work.
So we've go our short box on, I've got my foot strap at the ready, I'm gonna go ahead and hook myself in, make sure everything's good. And I'm gonna bring myself all the way over to the edge of the box. So I like getting a little, again, precarious, but I'm comfortable in the discomfort there, so that's how I know it's okay. If I feel unsafe in a position then we're not going there. Now lock off that foot.
This progression is one that is meant to burn, and it's also one that is meant to help you get stronger for the side overs, okay? So we're gonna take our bottom hand down and just get into a long diagonal line. Many times it's really tempting to collapse in the ribcage, so let's see the top ribs really reaching up and for now we'll just have the hand behind the head and we're gonna flex that extended leg and let ourselves lean, kind of lengthen out of the hip, this is where we're tending to grip and hold from the leg. You need to let yourself produce tension on the strap. So we're in that diagonal line and we're gonna bend the bottom arm to arc down.
This one is the easy one. We just bend (inhales), and then you press, and to the best of your ability you find that diagonal. Then you bend, and press, and it's really useful to think of bringing the top ribs, the ribs towards the ceiling, up even more so that you're not tempted to collapse. Let's do two more. Press. And last one. And press.
Okay, so we're here in this diagonal, and we're gonna remove the hand from the headrest, and we're just going to bend over. Again, somewhat easy, but then we're gonna lift up and see if we can find the diagonal. That's it, good, and then bend over and exhale (exhales), find that diagonal, and good. Pause just for a moment. Find a rest. And one more over, and reach, find that diagonal, now lift up through the diagonal to come all the way to the center, good.
From here we're gonna extend our arms because now we're ready to go. We're gonna reach all the way over past the extended leg, stretching out the opposite side, we're lifting up to the ceiling, reaching and passing through the diagonal to go down as low as your body will let you, and then reaching back, finding the diagonal, to come up once again, all the way over to the other side. Slow burn, inhale (inhales), and all the way over. And reach, and then stretch, stretch, stretch to come up, these are so nasty but good (laughs). And reach over, and lengthen out to come up, and the last one we get to go over and take the stretch because we earned it.
Good and then rotate the body, whew, there we are. And walk yourself up. You just get to erase the burn of that side of the body from the narrative in your brain quickly and then we'll go to the other side. We'll walk ourselves back up safely and come all the way up. I'm gonna say good job, cuz that takes some gusto.
Okay, so here we go to the other side, again, finding the hand behind the head, the other one on the foot bar. Internally rotating that leg so you're really locking off through the strap and then we just bend over (inhales) and then we press up and we find that long line. And bend (inhales), and we press up and find it again. Just checking in with all the pieces, allowing the hip to lengthen as we bend over. And of course this is a nice progression where you can just stay with the bent arm if you need to with the support.
Let's do one more (inhales), and press up. Okay here we go, finding the diagonal, releasing the hand, we reach over (exhales), we reach out to find that length pause. And again, over (inhales) and reach out (exhales). (inhales) Reaching out (exhales). Try to find it, hold it, two more.
(inhales and exhales) Last one (inhales and exhales). Lifting up and out of the diagonal to come all the way back up (laughs) and then big long stretch in opposition, doing a great job. Four times to go up and over, let's let our bodies float down into the well, pass through that diagonal, to lift and lengthen all the way over, shoulders down in the back for me and for you, reach out, lift to go up and over. I said four, we've got two more. (inhales) And over (exhales).
Reach out and lift to come up and over. Last one (inhales and exhales). Reach out and lift, and up, and over, and go one more time. All the way and roll, and once again, just erase that work from the narrative, it's done. You do not need to think about it anymore.
Until next time you watch this class (laughs). Good and then we'll come all the way up and off. Alright, we're ready to take the short box off and we're gonna lift our foot bar up once again. So we're back, foot bar up, still two red springs, doing well. Circle the arms up and over, take your hands onto the bar, we're gonna come back onto the knees for a knee stretch roller coaster variation this time with springs.
So we're not helpless and we're going to begin to open up that body to finish rising up. So we round our spine, we're gonna go into a tuson cat variation. So we're gonna fold in the hips, lift the sits bones up as the chest reaches down, and then curl back in. This is just our prep for the next few exercises. So tailbone reaches up, chest reaches through the shoulders as much as you can support, so we're not forcing ranges ever (inhales and exhales).
One more time (inhales). This is the extreme for the upper body, the thoracic, (inhales) and now we're going to see if we can lengthen it out. So from here, reaching back, pressing, extending your spine and keeping it long. Then we're gonna come all the way up, up, up, into touch almost to lift your hands off the foot bar, press back, hips to the springs, and round, pressing your lower back back. And pressing out, open the chest, lift up, and reach out, and curl to come in.
Here we go, nonstop back and forth. (inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) (inhales and exhales) Last one (inhales and exhales). (inhales) And come all the way in from here, reach your hands back, sweep them around to the shoulder rest, press your hips up (inhales). Lift up, open that chest, press your hips forward, press your glutes forward, and rise up to reach to the ceiling, contract forward to the foot bar. Let's do that again.
(inhales) Curl. Someone really amazing once said you gotta rise up when you're living on your knees, and contract all the way over and reach. Do you have it yet? (laughs) Press all the way up to the ceiling, and lift, and contract. Last time (inhales and exhales). Press (inhales and exhales).
Lift to the ceiling (inhales). Lower the arms. Let's step off to the side. Feeling completely new, liberated, and amazing. Thank you for joining me.