Okay, so here's the next class in our progression series. If you've been following the series from the beginning you will notice themes, variations on themes. And we're ready for the next step. That doesn't mean that we don't go practice the other steps, right? We go back and we practice the basics or the second class or the third class.
Starting to introduce more advanced repertoire. The pace will be quicker than it was when we were doing fundamental work. And if you're just taking this class to take this class, then that's okay, too, but you might like to see the progression from where it started. So, that being said, there will be references to the other classes. So, if that doesn't make any sense to you, you can just let it go.
Here we go, we're gonna stand and face the box, on a blue spring. So, just standing tall, finding a place to fix your gaze, a soft gaze. And then bring the arms around and up and as the arms reach around, let them be light. Lift the chest. Press the arms wide.
Stand back up. Just gathering energy. I'm gathering energy and inviting you to gather your energy with me. Reach out. Lift up.
Press the arms wide. Feel that creation of energy. Creation of moving energy in your body. The possibility for that creation. Let's take the arms forward and up, light.
Reach out to the sides and as the arms come down, round down, reach down to the box and finding a long back, reaching out, finding a straight back and then taking that straight back down. So, noticing the pelvis is right over the feet. Round the spine. Drop the head. Feel the depth of the abdominals or create the depth in the abdominals.
Reach out, tailbone lifts. Reach out, pouring the pelvis forward, letting the spine go down. Depending on your flexibility, your picture, the picture that you're making with your body may be slightly different than the picture that I'm making with my body and that's okay cuz' we're all different. But what I want you to make sure that you're finding is a straight line with your spine. And then we can take the body forward.
Pardon the stuffiness. And then round, I'm not stuffy in my heart. Only just stuffy in my sinuses. And last time, reach out. Elongating the spine and rounding and bringing the box to the stopper and roll up all the way.
So, let's just squat down and set up the springs for footwork. I'm gonna choose to use three reds and a blue spring. I'm also gonna take us through some single leg work, probably without changing the springs. If you need a lighter spring, you should do that. Alright, three reds and a blue spring is what I'm choosing.
We're gonna sit on the box. Putting the feet down on the footbar, reaching forward, inhale. Exhale, roll the spine down. So, we're just rounding, feeling the feet hooked into the footbar. I'm pushing down on the footbar and pulling back.
Take the arms up. Open out. Reach forward. Roll up. Very similar, I realize.
Inhale and round the spine. Let the body move with ease. Reach up. Take the arms out. Reach forward and begin to roll up.
If this is hard for you to keep your feet down, you could otherwise put your feet underneath the strap for this first bit. Rounding back. Stabilize, reach up. This is preparing us for what's to come. Lifting up.
Just gonna do that one more time. Inhale and exhale. So, we did this warm up in our last class in this series. We're gonna add on today. So, reach and if it's hard enough for you without that add ons, just allow for you to think about the add ons as an idea or a variation and not something that's necessary for you to do if you're not ready for it.
Cuz' they're hard. Here's our last one. We're gonna roll up. And what I want us to find and we might have to do a little shifting, is where is your body on the box where are your shoulder blades, shoulder blades are just at the edge. Come up from there.
So, you're gonna take the legs into the hands, you're gonna press the knees into the hands and just begin to lower the body down. Work for control. For some reason that was scary for me. I don't know why, so anyway. That's just for real.
So, I'm fine now so let's go. Do the double leg stretch. We reach out and around. We'll do five. As your arms come to your knees, push down into your knees and curl the spine up.
Here's three. So, what we're gonna change is I'm gonna offer us the option of extension, okay. So, what that feels like or looks like, as the legs go out, the body goes over box, we reach around and bend in. So, you could keep the double leg stretch. Reach out over the box, curl back up and bend in, and three, and around.
Oh yes, it's hard to keep the lower back stable. One more. Oh now, get to hold the legs again. Hold the left leg. Right leg reaches out straight.
We do five single leg stretch. Five, pressing down. Keeping the curl. Four. Four, feel that leg reaching.
Straight out in front of you. Keeping it at eye level. Two, option coming up. One, so here's what we're doing with our option here. The straight leg goes into hip extension.
Reach, feel the hamstring press down. We might be getting a little opening through the hips here. Three, three. Curling up. Two, you don't have to do the extension part.
You could keep the leg high. That's one, bend in. Hold the back of both legs. Hands behind your head. Criss cross, top leg straight out.
One. Two. Three. So same thing with the legs on this one. After five, we go into hip extension.
Here's four. Five. Five and here we go, reach down, down, two, two. Four and five. And if you're not tired, you could keep going, but I'm tired.
Push the knees into the hands and roll back up nice and controlled, nice and controlled. Nice and controlled and we place the feet down and sit all the way up. Okay, so let's get down off the box and put the box away. Add the footbar up and lie down. I'm gonna put my headrest up.
I like to see my feet. You could also leave yours down. So, heels of the feet on the footbar. Taking a moment just to find your way into your neutral position. Spinal position, pelvic position, really.
And we press up and pull in. Push into the heels, reach, and feel the heels drag down the bar as you're coming in. That drag down the bar is a creation of resistance or a creation of work through the back of the legs, through the hip extensors. And we go four and pull, three and pull, two and in, last time and as you're going through all these motions, continue onto your toes now. Press out, remember that when we're in straight legs, we keep the heels lifted and the heels just stay right there.
Reach out, so what I was mentioning before, is as we're going through our footwork, we're just using our footwork to warm up our large muscles to warm up the rest of the body. Also, going through checklists. What's happening in the waist. What's happening with the breath. What's happening with the arms.
Are they straight, are they long. Are they soft. Are they energized. Can you be soft and energized at the same time? That's a interesting question.
I believe you can. And in, heels together, toes apart. Wrapping the toes around the bar. Squeezing the heels together. Reach, pull back.
So, always working. Never a moment where there's not something to focus on. There's never a moment, really, where there's not about 14 things to focus on, so pick your top 10 and then every once in awhile, check in with the rest. Drawing the naval back away from your clothing. Keeping the scapula wide.
Stretching long through the arms. We're going three more times. Pulling in, two. Pulling in, one. Pulling in, rotate back to parallel.
We're gonna skip the wide foot positions today. Stretch up, go down, two, three. Lift, down, two, three. Lift, can you connect the lifting of the heels through the entire posterior chain. All the way through the hips.
All the way through the spine. I don't know if that's real. Can we lift our heels with our spine? We can think about it. And definitely lift our heels with our brain, so that the top of the chain.
Let's do three, two, soften through the ribs. And hold at the top and alternate. Reach, up, down. Up, reach. So there's that up and then down.
That rhythmic movement there. The articulation of the foot, the stability of the pelvis. The breath can go inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale, or some variation of your choosing. Just do one more to each side. And then we'll lift and bend.
Gonna take the left foot onto the bar. Take the right leg straight out. As you press with your left leg, the right leg's coming towards the body. And then take it down. One leg does hip extension, one leg does hip flexion.
Reach away, press out, lift. Yeah, so I didn't change my springs, so if that feels heavy to you, please feel free. Work on a spring that suits you. (exhaling heavily) Last two. Maintaining the neutrality of the pelvis, that was eight by my count.
So, just to let you know what's happening. Press and reach up. Resist, reach away. Press, lift up. Reach away.
Can you feel that you're pulling your leg upwards with the front of your body? With the abdominals. Yeah, it's not biomechanically real but it's a feeling that's definitely creatable. I think there's two more. Last time.
And we're gonna come down onto the toes. Gonna take that opposite leg under the footbar. So, now the left hip pushes out. The right leg's gonna bend, reach, bend down. Pull, reach, bend, under.
Three, lift. Stability in the pelvis. Last four. Reach through. Three, lift.
Reach through. Two, keeping that leg nice and straight. And one, so just using these variations to create a little stability challenge. Toes over the foot on the bar. It's definitely a leg challenge.
Opposite leg goes under, for me anyway. Press out and lift. Reach through. Press and kick, bend, reach through. Keeping the back of the pelvis level.
Keeping the arms long. Half way. Keeping that nice foot position. Here's three. Strong through the back of the leg.
And two. And last one, up. And reach through. Take the leg out from underneath the footbar, rest it on the bar. Take the other one up, rest it on the bar.
Reach the arms up. Maybe scooch away from the should box a little bit. Now, lift the head and chest and roll through the spine. Mmh hmm, not the most beautiful but we made it. I made it.
Wrap the knees over the footbar and use your arms to pull, lifting tall. In a nice back extension, nice back extension work. And then turn the knees around or step to the side. Go down to one spring. One red spring.
Adding onto our abdominals with legs and straps. Again, if this is something that you feel a lot in your back, just take the straps off of your legs and do it without the straps. It's not a back exercise. It's a stomach exercise. So, we're gonna step through the straps.
Straps are gonna go over the knees. From there, you're gonna go through what we learned last time. We go down, straps just underneath the knees. Taking the hands behind the head. Reach out and pull and stabilizing the trunk.
Higher is easier in terms of where the legs go. Inhale to reach, exhale to pull and we stabilize the spine. (exhaling loudly) One more. (exhaling loudly) Taking the hands behind the thighs. Reinforce your position or just have a rest.
Hands back. Stretch the legs out both at the same time and rotate, bend. Stretch center, lift, rotate, bend. We'll just do three to each side, cuz' there's more coming. Helps you rotate.
Feel free to add more repetitions if you wish. I'm choosing what feels like a safe number for my body. And I know what's coming. And center and bend. Wrapping the arms around the back of the legs again.
Curling up. Are you ready for this? Am I ready for this? Yes is the answer. Straight legs.
Hands back. Gonna take the legs down and pull back. Take the legs down and pull back. Three more. (exhaling loudly) Two more.
(exhaling loudly) Last one. (exhaling loudly) Bend, reach. Curl, straighten. Hands back. That was a little bit of stall.
Hope you enjoyed it. Lower the leg, lift the left leg and twist. Lower both. Lift the right leg, twist. Lower both.
Left leg, twist. Lower both. Right leg, twist. One more time. Left leg.
Right leg. Both knees in. Reach behind the thighs. Find your curl. Drop your feet towards the straps.
Take the hands behind the head. Bring the knees into the chest. That's a little reverse curl and down. Bring the knees into the chest. Trying to lift the pelvis off the bed.
And curl. And curl. And curl, reaching for the knees. Lifting the body. Lifting the body all the way up and that is enough.
So, put the straps away. Turn around. While you're there, take the headrest down. Add a blue spring and lie down. So, all the things that we do today starting, well continuing on for now, will set us up for what's to come next.
What we're gonna do now is the roll over and what I want you to do in relationship to where you're putting your body is to make some space between your shoulders and your shoulder blocks. Bring the arms just over the shoulders, lift the feet up off the bar. Keep some tension on your springs and then from there, stretch the legs up. So, we inhale, lower the arms, lift the legs. Exhale, roll over.
Inhale, flexing through the feet. And exhale, roll down. We'll just keep them together. Roll down, roll down. Once the legs, pelvis comes down, the toes point, the arms come up, the legs come down.
Inhale, arms down, legs up. Exhale up and over. Flex the feet. Push away with your feet. Roll down, keeping the arms long.
And lift the arms, lower the legs. We'll just do one more. Lift the legs, press down. Over, flex the feet and come down. Long arms, strong arms.
And then bend the knees and put the feet into the straps. Bringing the legs up to where you can keep your pelvis heavy. External rotation in the hips. Press the legs away and reach around. Yes, so we go back to some basics.
We always have some basic and so, how I feel about that, or what I believe about that, is that we need those basics in our movements and not everything has to be different every single time. You return to known things. Sometimes to warm up the body, sometimes just to remind the body. Sometimes, just because it's nice to keep things simple. Open, press down and together.
Inhale, lift. Just basic circles. Press from the leg, excuse me, the back of the legs, down. So, we separate equidistantly. We press in the back of the leg and make the legs come together at the bottom.
We do two more. Open, press down and together. And one more. We're going back to the variation from the last class. Gonna go into the single leg opening.
So, you bend one knee. The thighs are equidistance apart. We pull from the straight leg but allow the bent knee to straighten. So, what I'm saying is, it's just the legs are coming together in the center, but what's tempting is to push with the bent knee because it has power. What I want you to do is pull from the longer lever, the straight leg, and you'll feel how that's quite nice adductor work.
One more time, so split the legs evenly and center. So, how we're gonna change it now is we're gonna bend the right leg and take the left leg straight up and then press that leg down, right leg comes to join it. Then the left, take the right leg straight up. Press down, notice if that's affecting the stability in your pelvis and if it is, what can you do about it. You can stay low.
Where can you do that. Maybe from the back of the leg. Maybe the range of motion. Make it smaller. Just do one more to each side.
Straight up and down and straight up and down. So now, with the legs together, we're going to the long spine and the long spine, you bring the legs just to vertical, you push slightly into the straps with the legs and we roll up. Rolling up and reaching. We're trying to hit a vertical line. Also, trying to maintain stillness into the reformer.
Separate the legs and roll down. Roll down, so laying the spine down into the reformer, evenly. Once the pelvis touches all the way down, the legs come down and back together. Inhale, lift them up. Exhale, press into the straps enough to keep the reformer still.
Standing in the straps. Separate the legs. Articulate the spine down. Whoops, I pushed a little too hard. It made my reformer move.
So, that happened, but now I know. Now I know, I'm not gonna do that again. Reach up. That's just the learning process, right. Process of not being perfect every time allows us to learn where we are in space and make things better each time.
Better all the time. And then all the way down. Bend the knees into the short spine. Press out, point the feet. Fold your body all the way into half, come into the stopper, lift the body up and back.
Bend the knees. Roll down through the spine allowing the thigh bone to drop down towards the body. Pull down and back through the abdomen. Flex the feet, bring the legs across the top and center point. We'll do two more.
Long straight arms. Folding in half. Touch. Lift up. Bend the knees and roll down.
Knees dropping down to the outside of the ribs. Carriage remains still until this moment where you flex the feet and the legs come down and across. Last time, reach up with the feet. Fold in half, come all the way in. Soft arms but controlled with the arms.
Nice flat hands. Fingers soft. Bend and roll down. Knees dropping to the outside of the thigh bones. The legs coming down and through.
We're gonna bend the knees, take one foot out, put it onto the bar. The other foot out, put it onto the bar. Wrap the legs over the top of the bar again. Reach up, roll up. If you can at least make it to your footbar, the footbar can help you just get a nice, get those nice back extensors working again.
Alright. And then step to the side. Take the blue spring away. So, now I just have the one red spring and we're gonna go into the full lunge. Come through the standing lunge, through the kneeling lunge, through the kneeling lunge with balance and our next step is the full lunge.
We step up onto the reformer. We take the one foot back, whichever one your want. The other leg comes up onto the bar and we press the leg out. We're biasing here toward tucking the pelvis. Reaching out long through the body.
Breathing in and breathing out. Eventually, we'll balance in this stretch, too. But today, what we'll do is we'll just take that front leg straight back, keeping the body long. I'm looking for the straightest, flattest back available. Breathing in and out.
And bend, knee come out over the ankle. And pressing through that back leg. Just do that one more time. So, as you go out, don't drop the pelvis. Take it straight back biasing towards an interior tilt or an arch, and getting the straightest back that is available to you in your body today.
A little bend and come back in. Energizing, reaching back through the back leg. Bring the carriage in, change sides. We start with the knee just over the foot, over the ankle, meaning not way forward. About a 90 degree, guess it's not a 90 degree in the knee, it's just the knee is over the ankle and then the pelvis goes straight back.
Spine is long. Abdominals are working. Then we come back in. Strong back leg. Do that one more time through.
Reaching out. Last time, we went through the up stretch one and up stretch two. Now we're gonna come into, onto our hands, gonna step that leg back, put it up against the shoulder box, find a plank position, gonna pull forward. Try to come right into the stopper. And then push away.
This is a long stretch. Pull forward, abdominals in. Strong back leg. And press away. Then pull forward.
So, if we know that up stretch one and the up stretch two and the long stretch, then what do you know? We know the up stretch three. Sending the pelvis back, hips up high, come through the up stretch two, which means we pivot around the shoulders, the arms stay still. Come through the long stretch, come in to touch the stopper, lift the hips up. Keep the carriage still.
So, you're pulling the carriage in as you're lifting your hips up and back. Up stretch two. Through the long stretch. Hips come up and back. We're looking for a flat back here.
Just do one more reach out. Come through forward and lift up. Let's just step down. Come down to our knees. Progression.
Turn around. Okay, so take one strap in either hand and I'm holding just above the buckles. We're gonna do the same arms series again but I'm gonna give us some variations on it. The arms start straight and we just go in to chest extension. Reach and reach forward.
Push down to go back. And forward. Down to go back. Just do two more like that. Last one.
Now we're gonna add a little back extension. Isn't that exciting. We're gonna go back, lift the sternum, come to neutral, come forward. Pull back, lift the sternum, come back and forward. Pull back, lift the sternum.
So, I'm not going backward. I'm thinking about going forwards. I'm not hinging from my lower back. Really working to find my upper back, so it's subtle but powerful. One more time.
In my body, anyway, it feels like a lot. Now we lift and come back and we're gonna add rotation. So, take the left arm and we pull, the right arm reaches forward. Center. Right arm reaches back.
Left arm reaches forward. So, does rotation come from your arms? No, it comes from your trunk. Do the arms have to work? Yeah, it's hard.
But can we think about not just working from the arms, but really connecting to the spine or connecting to the waist, the back extensors and the obliques. We'll just do one more to each side. Pull back, reach forward. Pull back, reach forward and then come down. Sit down.
Oh, I didn't mean to drop my strap on the floor, but I did. How clumsy. So, I'm gonna add a blue spring now. Gonna come back. You'll be happy to have this spring.
Just go ahead and trust me on that. We come back, we're gonna rotate the pelvis. What I'm trying to do is minimize, if not eliminate, the curvature of my lower back. And so what it feels to me like I'm doing is doing a chest lift on my knees. I'm gonna hinge, keeping that, keeping that, keeping that.
This is called the thigh stretch. Bring that position up and we unwind. And round the spine or flatten the spine and reach back, reach back, reach back. Lift that whole piece and return. Quite easy just to lean back.
So, try not to do that. Rotate under and reach back. And then lift up. And then we return. So now guess what we're gonna do.
We're gonna take the straps and you wanna scoot back for this because it will give you enough resistance or range. We come from that same place. Rotate, hinge, low as you can into your thigh stretch and then biceps. And holding the balance. (exhaling loudly) Breathing.
(exhaling loudly) Last four. Three. Two. One. Straighten the arms.
Come off. Let the straps sit down. Turn around, we're gonna keep the same spring. Hands on the bar. Last time, we went over the knee stretches.
We're gonna re-go over the knee stretches again on a little bit heavier spring. Round back, sit back and then just a few like this in the round spine position. Out and then resist. And out, resist. So, you're using the center.
You're using your abdominal muscles to resist the pull of the springs. We go two more times. And one more time and now here's the exciting new development. Come in, float the knees and we go out and pull in. Keep the knees low.
Keep the knees low. So, can you do this exercise without having a good understanding of the exercise before it? No, in my opinion, no. Come all the way down. Remove the blue spring.
Come into your down stretch position and do three down stretch. Down. Lift the spine and come in. And out. Lift the spine and come in.
There's a variation coming here, too. All the things they build. One thing builds on the next thing. So, what we do now, to go into the round back knee stretch. Oh yeah, we were just there.
And then straighten the back, press the legs out and come through the down stretch. Just a variation. Round back, keep the carriage in. Straighten the back. Press the legs out and lift up.
There's more to this. We'll practice this for a little while. Round, straighten the back. So, each piece of the advanced choreography comes from the most simple of movements. We need to understand the simple movements so that we can put our choreography together, if we want.
Let's come all the way down. We'll just come up. The spring can stay the same. Come up onto the bar. What you're gonna do, you wanna just put your hands on the outside of your pelvis and so, the last time we looked at this position, we lifted off and we did some shrugs and some tricep dips.
We learned how to stabilize the scapula with the weight coming from behind. If that's still something that you're working on, stick with that. If you feel nice and strong and stable in your scapula and your upper back, we'll take that into the long back stretch. So, how that goes, we put the hands on the bar, just like before. Lift up out of yourself as you put your feet up against the shoulder blocks.
We didn't sink, right. We're still lifted. Bend your arms. Articulate the spine up, pressing the carriage away. Now, use the backs of your legs but use also your upper back muscles to keep yourself lifted up out of your shoulders, or to keep your shoulders down away from your ears and then unwind then and then round, long back stretches is the name of this exercise.
Use the legs. Use the legs. Get nice and round, pushing up away from the bar and we return. One more, bend. Round reach, pull all the way back in.
Stay lifted out of the shoulders as we return to a straight spine and then we stop off. We walk to the box, having a little break, so we're going nice and slow. No, just kidding. Get the box, put the box on the reformer side overs. The next generations.
Isn't like the Star Trek? Is that what that is, Star Trek? So, now we have side overs, the next generation. What we're gonna do, is we're gonna load up the springs. We did these from a static position.
We did these from a moving position. Now we're gonna make it a little bit harder. Or, just stick with what you already know. We're gonna bring the arm down, keep the legs straight. One hand comes back, the other hand comes back.
We're gonna go inhale. This you know. And out. And inhale. And out.
And guess what. This is not the end. We're gonna progress from here today. Next time, we're gonna do more stuff. Take the arms up and reach over and out, straight line.
Over and head stays with the arms. Over and out. And rest, lean the arm overhead. Spend a little time here, cuz' it feels good. Take the hands in front.
So, these are just stretches and you can explore into your stretches. I like to let my hip roll back. We're gonna come around. So, isn't it exciting, what's this, the fourth class in this series and there's so much and we're really just scratching the surface of possibility. Probably gonna keep this up until I'm ancient, old and gray.
Switch sides. So many things, but what's the most important thing, is that we have a strong grasp of the basics. Go back and do the basics again. And see how everything relates, cuz' it does. Straight line, inhale and reach out.
Inhale. Get long. One more. And out and then we go out. We go over and up.
Over and up. Over and up. And then we reward ourself a nice rest and a stretch. You wanna let your hip roll back. Maybe that doesn't feel good to you and you don't wanna do it and that's okay.
We have to learn how to look after ourselves. It's important, too. Rotate. And lower. If it were up to me, I might just do the basic class over and over and over and over.
But, instead, I will continue to give you the gift of progression. And then we can all be sore together. Okay, so we're gonna go down back to one spring. You can either use a blue spring or you can use a red spring. I'm gonna choose a red spring.
Then we're gonna get onto the box. Lie face down. So, we did the prone one. We're gonna do it again. Wrap the hands.
Breathe in. The legs are strong, the arms come back, the spine lifts up. Push the arms away. And then we reach back. And then we come back and up.
And reach down. Legs are strong. Abdominals are engaged. We're gonna do three more. Up and back.
And two more. Up and back. Oh, and you wanna know what's so fun. Does anyone like to do tricep extensions and back extensions at the same time? I do, four.
Elbows close to the body. Three. Two. One. Take the arms down, lower the spine.
(exhaling loudly) Unwrap the hands. Okay, so what we're gonna do now is we're gonna take the arms out to the side. The tricky part about this, to try to keep the palms of the hands face down. We're in a T shape. And you're gonna bring the arms to the sides of the body and we're gonna lift the back.
Pinky fingers into the sides and lower just out to that T shape again. And pull back, lift the spine. Just out to that T shape again. Pull back, lift. Reach long, last two.
Thank God, no, just kidding. I want to do this all day, don't you? Last one. And then come all the way down. Allow the arms to rest.
Allow the spine to rest. Hang up the straps. Come up onto your knees. Sit back. Taking the arms forward.
Resting the hips on the feet. Allowing the spine a moment to rest. You could also bring your arms a little bit further back behind you and use your arms against the carriage, or against the frame, to try to pull your pelvis down towards your feet. And with that, you give the thanks. I've giving thanks that I have the strength and the mobility in my body to allow it to do those things and to allow me to share those things with you.
So, that gives us a lot to practice on before we advance to the next step.