Class #3131

Challenging Reformer Flow

40 min - Class


Flow through an entire class on one blue spring with this Reformer workout by Anula Maiberg. She starts right away with movements that are deceptively challenging for the entire body. She includes creative variations to exercises like Rowing, Snake, and so much more!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Jul 25, 2017
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Hi guys, my name is Anula and I'm going to be teaching a reformer class today. I have James and Devika here, and what I'd like you guys to start doing is set up your machines so you have your footbar up in what you think is the middle part, and then put a blue spring on, lie down on your back with your headrest down. Great. Bring your feet up onto the footbar. Great, wrap your toes over the front of the footbar, and I want you to straighten and bend your legs with this blue spring a few times.

So you can just do this at your own breath. Think about being sort of meditative for a moment, this is very light for them. And then you can start thinking about your breath. So on your exhale, you can gently straighten your legs, and then on your inhale, imagine that your hamstrings are pulling you back in. So it's more of an imaginary hamstring-curling-in situation.

But you're just kind of warming up your legs for what's coming up next. Great, one more time. Great, let's lengthen the legs out and stay out. Now from here, what I'd like you to do is lift your hips up, literally one inch off the carriage, and then lower your hips back down. So on this one blue spring, they're lifting their hips up, I don't care if the carriage moves a little bit or not, and then lower back down.

I'd like you to do that approximately eight times on your own breath. Yeah. And they're not lifting up very high. Yep. And let's say, three more.

And if you can go smaller, that's ideal. So they're not looking for very high lift. On the third one, let's lift the hips up and stay up in the lift. Now from there, I want you to lower your heels underneath the footbar, exhale, pick your heels up. And then lower, under, and lift for two.

Lower, under, lift for three. Lower, under, lift for four, four more. One, and two, it could be really small. Three, and four, lower your hips down, bend your knees. So that is incredibly unpleasant.

Exhale, press out. Yup, you can't see their faces, this does not feel good. Pick your hips up, yup. I'd like you to lower your right heel under the footbar, bend your left knee, and switch, and switch, like you're doing this horrible running that does not feel like a stretch, it feels like a lot of work, for five, four, three, two, one. Lower your hips down, bend your knees.

Good! So we're going to pretend that their hamstrings are very, very warm. I'd like them to walk their feet to the width of the bar. You can be on your toes, on your arches, on your heels, whatever works for you. I'd like you to move two inches away from the shoulder pads. Yeah, so we're going to hope that the perspiration that they have going on is going to keep them from sliding, but if they have to, they might get up and put one of these sticky mats underneath their seat.

So what I'd like them to do is lift their arms up towards the ceiling, and then on the exhale, they're going to nod their chin towards their chest and as they roll up to a seated position, they're going to straighten their legs. All the way up. That's right. Inhaling at the top, exhale, as you roll down, you bend your knees. Right, and you're trying to do that as simultaneously as humanly available, but whatever, right?

You're coming up, yup, and you slowly lower down. And the carriage is moving underneath you as you move. The carriage will continuously move as you get up, it'll stop at the top, and the carriage will continuously move as you lower. Good, I'd like to do two more, please. Yup.

And then there's a fair amount of wigging around. So if your shoulders get stuck up against the shoulder blocks just scoot forward. Or grab one of those sticky pads. And one more. Super.

And then come all the way down. Great. Now we're going to add a twist. So as you come up into a seated position, you're going to roll up, and you're going to turn to the right, yup, whatever you think that means, and then come all the way down. Good.

And then come up and turn to the left. Right. And then come all the way down. And come up and turn to the right, and all the way down, and come up and turn to the left, and all the way down, one more to each side, because Pilates, exhaling up, turning and down, you turn as much as you think you want to. And last one.

Super nice. And come all the way down. Great, now close your carriage, bring your legs together, hug your knees in towards your chest. Roll yourself a little bit up and to the right so you can come up into a seated position with your feet on the floor. Roll and just kind of turn elegantly.

Great, come up to standing, and I'd like you to take your footbar down. Come down to hands and knees with your hands on the sandpaper-y part of the machine. That's right, great. And then your knees underneath your hips, your toes do not need to be tucked up again the shoulder pads. Great.

And then start with a couple of cat-cows here. On an exhale, do one movement, try to keep the carriage fairly still, we're still on one blue. And then do another movement. Now the one blue is completely a suggestion. If you find that you need to be on a higher spring tension, noodle around with it for awhile and see what works for you, it's fine.

And they're just kind of warming up their spine for a second. Great, and then we're going to come to what we think of as somewhere in between those two places. And then on your exhale, I'd like you to move out from your arm bones. So then you stay relatively underneath your hips as you move the carriage out, and then exhale, pull yourself back in. Now, you have two separate humans here, and they're going two different distances, and that's fine.

So James is kind of making this more of a stretchy, expansive movement, and then Devika is making this more about some kind of shoulder organization thing, and do the thing that works for you. Yeah, so do that a couple times. One more time. Great. So you have that down.

Now what I want you to try and do is move your knees back, keeping your shoulders relatively over your wrists. And then pull your knees back in. And then move your knees back, and bring your knees back in. And move your knees back, and bring them back in. Now, it's deceivingly difficult because this spring is so light.

So they're doing, actually, quite a bit of work just surviving doing this. So the lighter the spring, this particular exercise becomes more difficult. And one more time. That was about eight. Great, now from here, what I'd like you to do is push out from your arms, push out from your knees, come in from your knees, come in from your arms.

And it's from the arms, and it's from the knees, and it's from the knees, and it's from the arms. Couple more. Arms, and knees, knees, and arms, one more. Arms, and knees, and knees, and arms. Now, here's the thing that's going to muck everybody up, and that's okay.

So, I'm going to come around. So what I'm going to ask you guys to do a couple of times is to hover your knees up off the carriage. Yeah, like this, and down. And then lift up, and then down. Good, this is already like, uh-huh, I don't like it.

And then up, and then down, and then one more time, up, and then down and pause. So I'm just going to say two words about this. If this is already super hard, don't do the next thing, work on this, it's fine. On your next exhale, if you're feeling like you need this to be really difficult, pick your knees up, and you're going to move from your arms. And then come in from your arms, versus pushing out from your legs.

So you're going to push out from the arm bone, come in from the arm bone. Push out from the arm bone, come in from the arm bone. Literally, as many times as you can do it for, and then stop. Great. Good.

One more time. Yes, ma'am, there she is! And then come all the way down. And then sit back into the pose of a child. Good, take a little break. And gently roll up, good.

And what I'd like you to do is turn around and I want you to come up into a kneeling position in the middle of your carriage, facing the shoulder blocks. And I want you to grab onto your straps. Take one loop in each hand and make a fist. Yeah, that will work fine. So the way I like to do it is, like, literally, make a fist.

Now from here, you're in the middle of the carriage, and I'd like you to walk back a little bit until your ankles are kind of at the end-ish, yeah, great. On the exhale, pull the ends back like you're doing chest expansion on the lightest spring ever, and then release. And this feels like a break. So you're just doing this thing, and whatever your understanding of chest expansion will work fine, because the spring is so light, it's more about setting yourself up for what we're doing next. Great, one more time.

Good. Now what I'd like you to do is take your right arm down, your left arm up, and then turn to the right. And then come back through center and reverse it. Turn, and back. So they're doing a little bit of a side-bend, a tiny side-bend, and a little rotation.

Yeah. And we'll go for five. Super nice. And exhale, four. And three.

And two. Yeah, it's tiring! And one, great. Now take your hands into the loops with your palms facing you, good, and we're going to do a small extension. So as your arms go up, you're going to extend your spine a little bit, and then come back. Yeah.

So you can just do it as far as you don't fall, right? That's going to be the rule. And down. Good. And exhale, three.

Yeah, mmhmm. And exhale, four. And one more time. For five. Super nice.

Take the straps into one hand. Good, swing your legs forward, and sit, with your legs between the shoulder pads. Okay, so weird rowing sequence. You're going to bring your right leg over your left leg, and you're going to come way forward on your carriage. Like, lots of runway behind you.

Like, weird amount. Yeah, smush it, good. Now from here, I want you to take the straps over your forearms and come into genie elbows. Yeah. Now from here, all I want you to start doing is check that you have enough room behind you to roll onto your lower back.

Do that now. Great, and then come back up. Good, and James might realize that he needs to come forward a little bit more, and then on the exhale, roll back, and come back up. Good. And roll back.

And come back up. Good, two more. Super nice, one more. Good! Now we're going to do five where we turn a little bit to the right. So they're going to turn their upper body a little bit to the right, and then roll back a little, emphasis on the right side, and then up for five.

Same thing. And you can come back to center, or you can roll back down. Four. Mmhmm. Good.

Two and one. Great, sit tall, switch your legs, so now your left leg is on top of your right, and you're going to roll back on the left side. For five, good, and then just kind of imagine that your emphasizing rolling down on that side of your body and you can kind of actively rotate and do it, or just, like, emphasize the rolling down. They're both doing very different kind of versions of this, which I like. Good, one more.

Great, switch your legs again. Now take the straps into your hands, a la rowing, too, but not, and on your exhale, I want you to roll back to lying down all the way onto your back. Good. You're going to drop your head back into the hardware, yeah. You're going to extend your arms to the footbar.

Correct. You're going to bend your elbows, and you're going to roll back up. Good. On your exhale, you roll back, you extend your arms back behind you, you bend your elbows, and you roll back up. Give me two more.

Right. And one more. Good! And come all the way up. Now let's try going a little bit to the right. So as you go down, you roll a little bit to the right side of your machine, and then you extend your arms with an emphasis to the right.

Good. And it's always going to be Martha Graham in here. Exhale to the right. Good. Yes.

And exhale, good. James wishes he stretched, and one more time. (laughing) Good, and up and switch your legs, we'll do left. Exhaling, little lefty business. And back. Good.

Expand and get really proximal. Good. (laughing) A little distal, super proximal. Good, last one. Excellent, put your straps down. Step off to the right side of your machine.

Great. Okay, so what I'd like you to do is grab onto your long box. And the way we're going to set it up is that your long box comes down next to your reformer, on the floor, that's right. And it's basically in line with the leather of your carriage. So if you're not totally sure where it's supposed to go, that's approximately where it's supposed to go.

I would like you to step onto the box facing the footbar. Good, and we're going to futz around with this for a second. So Devika's going to step backwards, and she's going to take her right heel up against the shoulder pad, maybe not the highest heel of her life, and then heel-toe her left foot towards the reformer. And everybody's situation is going to be a little bit different, so just find something that works for you. And I call these really expensive lunges, because you're just going to lunge on really expensive equipment.

But it's not different than a lunge. So I want you to lunge, bend your left knee, try and straighten your right leg, and do any arm choreography you like, and then come back up. Yeah. So we don't care about the arms yet, we're going to do this 10 times. And up, good.

And exhale. (exhales loudly) Good. Yeah, so just do your expensive lunges. That's right. Who's counting?

Great, 10 more! No. Three, two, and one. Good. Close the carriage for a moment. Here's where the majority of humans are going to freak out because it doesn't make sense.

So we're going to try and make sense of it. What I'd like you to do is roll down through your spine and take your hands down to the front of your box. Literally, down, yeah. So you'll have to bend your knees. Great.

Now, you're going to extend your right leg back, and take your left leg over your right leg, like you were doing snake. Right. Now from here, we're going to close the carriage by piking the hips up, and then press back out into our plank. And exhale, pike, inhale to plank. And this is three.

Good, we can call this the poor man's snake. Yeah, four. (chuckling) Good. And five, good, and then I'd like you to try and take your left foot forward anywhere on the box, and as elegantly as you can, get out of this. It's not a thing, so we don't know how to transition out of it yet. Good, and then step off.

And let's try the other side. Great. So their boxes are relatively in line with their carriages. Their left foot is going to go up against the shoulder pad, their right foot is where is helpful, and we're doing 10 lunges. Expensive lunges.

Good. Great, and we're pretending we're stretching the front of our left hip, but, you know. (chuckles) It really depends. Yeah, it looks like you're stretching in the front of your left hip, a little bit. Good, two more.

Super nice. Come all the way in, roll down through your spine, good. Find a survival technique, yeah, like some kind of coping mechanism while you straighten your left leg back and you take your right leg over your left leg. Right, and you pike up, and you press back out into your plank, approximately eight times, and you imagine that you're coming up into a handstand, and then you go back out. And then you're in a little bit of a handstand, and you go back out, and it looks really nice.

Good, so like you're exercising. Good. Two and one. We did more on this side, it's fine. Good, and then take your right foot onto the box, or whatever, and then come up.

Put your boxes away, please. And what I'd like you to do is sit in a mermaid position facing that way, meaning your left shin is up against the shoulder pads, and your right shin is parallel to the ocean in your house. (laughing) Good. And what I want you to do is take the strap that's closest to the ocean, yeah, great, and I want you to take your right hand and post it onto the side of your reformer, like this. Yup, good.

Take your left hand at your shoulder, good. Now we've got this situation happening. We're going to bend our right elbow, and then side-bend to the right. Extending the left arm, and then coming back. Let's do five.

Exhale, extend over, and back. And exhale, or inhale, and good. Good, one more. Super nice, close the carriage for a moment. Extend both arms forward, holding onto the strap, correct.

And I want you to really straighten your elbows. So none of this kind of nebulous, like, I don't know where my elbows are going, business. Super straight elbows. On the exhale, turn to the right. And back.

Yeah, so it's not confusing. You're going one way, and then you're going the other way. Good. Good, if your left butt cheek is off of the carriage, no one cares. Last one.

Good, that was about six. Take your right hand back down to where it was before, take your left hand to your shoulder, and as you extend your left hand overhead, you're going to pick your hips up and come onto both knees. And there she goes. And you go up, there she is. And then come back down.

That's right. And we go up, it's a thinker, and down. And this is three, good, let's do two more. And one more. And sit down.

Take the strap over your left elbow. Take both hands behind the head, yeah. Now from here, we're gonna take a little side-bend to the right. And back. And a little bend, and you want to bend only before you fall.

Yeah. So if you fall, you've gone too far. That's the indication to no longer do it. Okay, two more. One more.

Great! Now let's try and take a side-bend to the right, rotate towards the floor, unrotate, and come back up. Good. Yeah! Good. Two more. That was about five.

And one more. Okay. Take the strap off your arm. Hook it onto the peg for a second, swing your feet down to the wood floor in front of you, and come really far forward on your carriage. Great.

Take the strap, and I want you to bring it over your left thigh. Yeah, it's best to not tell you what's happening. So come as far forward as you've got, reach your arms long in front of you, and roll back and over your machine, and if you find you need to come forward more so your feet stay down, do that. Hands behind the head, drop back and over the end of your carriage part. Great.

On your exhale, I want you to curl up, and then drop back. And exhale, curl up, and drop back. And next one, you curl up and you hold. You'll pick your right knee up, you'll pick your left knee up. Great.

Try and curl up a little bit higher if that's humanly possible, strain your legs up towards the ceiling, great. Now you're going to lower your right leg down, exhale, switch. And, two. The carriage moves a little bit. And three.

And four. And five, feet down, head back. Exhale, curl up, bring your knees up, good, straighten your legs. Good, it's going to be right leg down, exhale, switch, exhale, helicopter the legs around. And it's two scissors.

One, two, helicopter. One, two, circle. One, two, circle, feet down, head back, they're dead. They've died. Okay. (laughs) Okay, come up however you see fit, and you're going to take the strap off, and now you have to remember that whole sequence on the other side, because I'm not going to guide you.

No, turn around, sit in a mermaid position, yup. And now it's like cake, you're like, this is fine, I'll do this all day. Strap in your right hand, left hand posted onto your carriage, inhale, exhale, side-bend, left. Bend your left elbow. And back.

And again. Good. One more time. Super. So now we'll extend the arms forward, on the exhale, turn to the left.

And inhale back through center. And this is two. And one more. Great job, good. Left hand back, post it underneath, right hand at shoulder, exhale, pick yourself up all the way as you extend over, and then come back down.

And exhale, two, so you're pushing into your right arm, and you're pushing into your left arm. Two more. And one more. Great. Come all the way down.

Strap over right elbow, hands behind the head, good. Uh-huh. Let's say, turn a little bit to the right. Yeah. I want you to try to-- she's good, your good.

Hands behind the head. Take a little side-bend, and back. Great. Good! And you're trying to, as much as it's reasonable to do, really bend sideways with minimal rotation. Even if it's really small, like way smaller than this, that's fine.

One more. Good. Now from here, you'll side-bend, turn towards the springs, and then back, all the way. And then bend first, turn second, untwist, unbend. And this is three.

And four. And one more time. Super nice. Put the strap down. Send your feet to the floor.

Sit really, really far forward, like a lot, and take the strap over your right thigh. Roll all the way onto your back. Drop back, hands behind the head. Great. Pick one knee up.

Pick the other knee up. Good, try and curl up as much as is reasonable for your here, straightening your legs to the ceiling, good, and we're going to just scissor, going down, one, two, three, four, five and six, feet down head back. Good. So that gives you an idea of what the next thing's going to feel like, and-- (James and Anula laughing) Curl up, knees up, yeah, stretch. Now straight your legs up, good, now lower your right leg down, exhale, switch, and circle.

One, two, circle. One, two, kinda. One, two, get better at this. One, two, do it, last one. One, two, the end.

Good, feet down, sit up tall. Don't stretch. Sit. Take the strap off your thing. Super nice.

Good. Abandon your reformer area for a moment, and come stand with your back to the footbar. Great! Take a little step forward. So this is an exercise in humility. Take your right foot back on top of the footbar.

Like that. Correct. Let's not say a number yet, let's do a couple where you roll down through your spine. Good. And then roll it back up.

Both of you can step a little bit more forward, tiny bit, good. Try it again. Yeah, so you're trying to roll down, and roll back up relatively slowly, yeah, and relatively with one, sort of, knee decision. So you're choosing what to do with your knee that isn't hurting you, and you're rolling down and up without changing the angle of your knee. Right.

Two more. Yeah, so if somebody came in here and they looked at these guys doing this, they'd be, like, this is not hard. But it's really hard. And last one. Good, switch! So that was about five.

Good, again, you don't probably need this really fancy piece of equipment to do this, but, it's what we're doing. Yeah, it's really expensive roll-downs. (laughing) Good. Yeah! Good, and you kind of learn something about yourself. About your leg. Two more.

Yeah, James is learning a lot about his right leg today. And last one, let's say. Super nice. Let that go. Come over to your footbar, put it back into its middle position.

And put all your springs on. Good. Now come take a seat on your carriage with your back to the footbar. Good. Now your butt might end up in between where the springs are, but you're not going to fall.

So I want you to move back until something around your shoulder blades touches the footbar, just around that area. Hands behind your head, straighten your legs if that feels like a good idea. Good and I want you to drape yourself over the bar. Good. And you get to stretch into your hyper-flexible back.

That's not what I want you to do, but whatever. Good, and if you found a spot where you like, you can kind of noodle around in that spot, go a little side to side, up and down, if that's not a good spot, move backwards a little bit, or move forward a little bit. It's not like a perfect science. And if you can find a spot to breath into, do that. If this is an excruciating amount of discomfort, stop.

Is my advice. Two more big breaths. One more. And then slowly roll up to sitting, fold forward over your legs, drop your head, and that was today's class. Thank you so much for coming and thank you to my awesome models.

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Ingrid J
7 people like this.
Oh man, how do you come with this stuff???? Brutal, awesome, love it!! Thank you!!!
2 people like this.
super! you are genius!!
Anula Maiberg
Thank you Ingrid !
Anula Maiberg
Thank you Elsa !
1 person likes this.
Really enjoyed your class - thank you very much.
Anula Maiberg
Dianne thank you for watching!
Morgane K
1 person likes this.
I loved it. Thank you Anula!
4 people like this.
Awesome class!! I enjoyed the creative flow on only one light spring. And the one legged standing roll down in the end was very instructive to my body!!
Thanks a lot!!
6 people like this.
Yes, challenging yet felt good too. Will you have more reformer videos on here in the future? I appreciated your witty style.
Anula Maiberg
Claudia thank you so much!
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