Hi, thanks for being here with me today. We're just gonna move our bodies. Does that sound fun to you? Sounds fun to me. Be prepared to challenge yourself.
Here we go. So turning towards the back of the reformer sit with your legs outstretched and if you need to cross one leg over the other, that's just fine but just be aware of maybe switching that up if you do. So reaching for the straps I have a red spring on the reformer, just gonna lift the spine up tall and taking a breath. And as we exhale we feel the pelvis rotate under, rotate under, rotate under and so you roll down and see if you can keep your heels still. And inhale as the lower back comes into contact with the reformer exhale curl back up.
Find a rounded long spine and lift the back bending the elbows. Take the arms out straight as you round your spine and then roll back, back, back, feeling the shoulders soft, inhale and exhale, taking a moment here as we do this nice simple movement lifting the back and bending the elbows to bring yourself into a space of connection. Exhale. A space where you are ready to concentrate and bring some awareness into your movement and into your practice. So rounding, and then lifting the back.
Do that two more times, exhaling as you round. Feeling that you can lengthen the spine or lay the spine down along, inhale, and exhale, rounding forward. Lifting the back, bending the elbows and lift the chest here as well and then send the arms forwards and exhale roll back stretching the legs in opposition forward. And inhale, and exhale lifting. And perhaps setting an intention asking yourself what do you need today in your practice.
And extending the spine then taking the spine straight and then reaching forward. We're gonna go one more time. Exhale, round, I think I just added one on but that's a gift, you're welcome. And inhale, and exhale to roll up and lift the back and lift the chest. Come back to a neutral spine alignment arms reach out straight.
Exhale, bend the arm closest to me, reach the opposite arm forward and twist and center, bend the other arm and lift as you twist, and center, and reach out. So we're working from the middle of the body. We're warming up the muscles around the spine. Just gonna do three more to each side. Lift and reach forward, and center, and lift and reach forward, and center.
Last two times. And lift and reach forward, and center. One more time. Lift and reach forward and last one, and coming back through center roll back down again so that you feel your lower spine come into contact with the mat, with the bed. Then from deep within your abdominals I want you to see if you can use your abdominals to float the left leg without changing anything in the back.
Then we're gonna bend the knee and curl. It's a tiny spinal curl, and then stretch out and curl, and stretch long and curl, resisting the weight of the spring and curl, and back. One more time, exhale to curl, inhale to go back, exhale lay that leg down with control, inhale and roll back up and bend the elbows coming to a straight body and then into thoracic extension back to straight, arms reach forward, exhale roll back again. So we feel the lower back come into contact with the mat we float that right leg and we curl and back, and curl, dig deep, and back, and curl, and back. Two more times, exhale, feeling that work, that bending of the knee coming all the way from underneath the ribs.
One more time, exhale. Come back, that leg lays down. We roll up, find a straight back, bend the elbows, extend the chest up. Come to straight, reach the arms forward exhale roll back again. Lower back comes into contact on the mat float the left leg again and now this time we twist as the knee comes in and down, and twist.
You can push down with the opposite leg. And twist, and back. Two more times. Twist, and back. One more time, twist.
Come back through center. Take that leg down. Roll yourself up. Bend your elbows. Lift your chest.
Reach to straight, send the arms forward. Exhale, roll down. Float the right leg and we twist, and back. So I'm not moving my spine up and down very far I'm just, I'm lifting it a little bit but I'm working more in my rotation and that deep hip flexion. One more time, rotate.
Come back, leg goes down, body comes up, bend the arms. Lift the chest. Come back, take the arms forward. Reach down and put the straps away, and then we're gonna set up our springs for fork. I'm gonna choose to use three reds and one blue or three heavies and a light.
You can decide what you'd like. So moving all the way down onto our back if you'll indulge me please I don't ever feel quite complete until I've done a pelvic curl so that's what we're all gonna do together right now. Inhale, heels are on the bar. We're gonna peel and lift the spine pressing down like you're trying to slide your feet downwards on the bar. Send the knees forward, keep the arms long.
Inhale, and then exhale starting with the chest feeling the bones of the middle back, the bones at the base of the ribs, the bones of the lower spine. So we just lay the body back down into the mat and take another inhale and exhale, peel and lift. Heels digging down, hips lifting up. Inhale, and exhale, elongate. So can we lengthen the spine from both directions, from the top of the head and also down through the pelvis.
And inhale and notice where the arms are in space. Are the shoulder blades stable and flat? The back of the arms resting on the mat, back of the shoulders resting on the mat. If I had to choose one Pilates exercise, if I could only choose one to do for the rest of my life it would be the pelvic curl. Fun fact.
Last one. Lifting up, lifting up, maybe higher than you think you can without putting too much strain on the lower back and then we peel down noticing if there's any shifting from side to side then drop the tail all the way down. The headrest can stay down or up. I like mine to be up so I can see what's going on. Heading into footwork here, arms long at our sides, pressing into the feet and we push out and bend in, and notice where the ribs are.
So the very bottom most rib should be resting on the mat and you're using our footwork to just continue our warm up, to warm up the large muscles in the body, to set a tempo and a rhythm and our intention for movement. We'll just do three more making sure that as we straighten the knees they don't go behind the ankles but they stop just parallel to them. One more time, pressing out, and bending in. Moving onto the toes. Push out, find here where the heels can be lifted without the ankles rolling out to the side then keep the heels still as you bend down, reach, and pull in, and out, and back in.
Soft to the back of the ribs, soft through the sternum. Using your breath as your rhythm. We have four, and in. Three, and in. Two, and back in.
Last time, one, and back in. Swivel the heels to touch each other open the knees just as wide as the shoulders. Keep that same heel orientation as you press out and come in. Feel that the heel is the press together of the heels are helping us to activate through the insides of the legs and then bringing awareness into the rotators in the backs of the hips. So we're working inside and outside.
Just pressing and finding intention in movement. And last four, and pull yourself in. So there's no riding the springs. We drag the body in. Two, drag the body in.
Last time, drag the body in. Come all the way in. Heels to the outsides of the bar. The knees are just as wide as they were a moment ago and we feel that as we're moving in and out there's a conscious effort to keep the inner thighs engaged. What I like to think about is sliding my feet towards one another on the bar like they're trying to pull together without actually moving them anywhere.
That's an effective strategy for me. I hope it works for you. And here's five, resist. Four, resist. Pressing the thighs together, resist.
Last two. And in one more time, out, and back in. Coming on to the toes and reaching and resist and reaching and resist. Breathing, feeling the energy moving through your body. Feeling that rhythmic, it's kind of a meditative rhythmic thing for me.
So moving at a consistent pace. And we'll do four, and in. Three, and back. Two, and in. Number one, and all the way back in.
Take the feet from the outside back towards the center of the bar. With the feet two or three fingers width apart reach out, take the heels down and then up. Under and then left. So you get that full range of movement in the foot keeping again, the shins, just in front of the ankles and not behind. Checking in with the arms, with the placement of the spine, with the shoulders.
Then we go forward and lifting from the very top of the thigh, we're lifting from the top of the back of the thigh. Last two, one more, and now we come alternate up and down, up and down. So the leg that's going under the bar is pulling. The leg that's bending, those feet are pushing, those toes are pushing so we have a push and a drag. And both up, push and a drag and a float.
And we'll do five, five, working the full range of the foot. Four, taking advantage of that stretch. Last two. One more. And then lifting, bending the knees then taking the toes over the top of the foot bar.
So you're, the pads of your feet right where the toes connect to the actual foot, that's right on the front part of the foot bar. You're gonna reach the toes over the top and send the heels underneath the foot bar and then continue to send the heels under as you come in. This is called prehensile in my, in my world. Or as I was taught. And it's such a nice stretch for the feet.
Such a nice way to get the feet organized a little bit differently. Keeping the heels reaching down as you bend. It's a nice stretch for the calves, too. Last two. And in.
And one. And all the way back in. So let's help ourselves up and change the springs. So I'm gonna take a red and a blue, gonna go a little heavier. No heavier than two full springs or two red springs, or whatever color your full springs are, and then coming back down onto our backs.
Gonna take the straps in our hands. Make sure there's a little bit of space between your shoulders and your shoulder blocks and then set the arms so that they're just right over the, right over the shoulders. Lifting the legs up, inhale here. Exhale, head and chest come up, arms reach forward. Inhale, arms come up and head comes down.
Exhale, head and chest lift up, arms reach forward. Inhale, arms come up and body goes down. And exhale, lift. And reach up, and down. And lift.
And back. And one more time, this time we're gonna stay lifted, drop the feet, try to bring the knees into the nose. Roll the spine down, lift the feet, lift the arms, lower the body. Exhale, head and chest up. Heels come down, curl.
Roll back down, feet come up. Arms come up, body comes down. Exhale, curl. Feet drop, knees to nose. Roll back, pick up the feet, lower the body.
Two more, exhale lift. Feet down, curl. Back down, feet come up, and down. One more time. Exhale, lift.
Feet drop, curl. Lift, and down. Now this time, as we lift we'll stretch the legs out. Separate the legs, take the hands between the legs and pull one, two, three. Legs together, arms reach to the sides, bend and come down.
Exhale, head and chest up, stretch the legs. Arms between the legs and lift one, two, three. Legs come together, bend, and reach down. And exhale, lift. Separate the legs, lift one, two, three.
Legs together, bend and come down. Last two. Head and chest, separate reach one, two, try not to go down, just higher all the time. Bend, and come down. One more time.
Yes, this is a tiny stall. Here we go though, reach up. Hands between the legs, lift one, two, three. Together, knees, and body. I don't know about you but that was, felt hard for me.
Not bad, just hard. So we're gonna take the feet into the straps now and start in a frog position, finding a neutral alignment with the pelvis, pressing again the heels together and then we stretch out and again bringing awareness to that inside line of the thighs and the outer hips which allow us to rotate. And let's just keep those feet flexing. Stretch and then drag the heels in, and stretch, and drag the heels in. We'll just do four more, getting those hips nice and lubricated.
And reach, bend in. And two. And bend in. Last one, reach out. Stay here, go down around and together touch.
And reach. So what I like to think about as my legs push away a sense of pulling up or back like I'm moving the carriage from my torso not from my legs. I realize that my legs are pushing the carriage, but try, try feeling like you're trying to move from your torso and it just might feel slightly like a, just a slightly different experience. We'll do three more. I like to watch and see if I can move equally through both legs.
It's challenging for me. Two. I wonder if it's challenging for you too. I wonder so many things about you all. From the top, let's take it in reverse.
Open, reach and touch, and lift up. And that freedom that you have of moving your body in a very detailed way. Is that freedom? I don't know. It feels like freedom to me.
The details in the movement are what makes me feel free. When I think about the details and then, I don't know. It maybe frees up my body and my imagination. Okay we're going three more times here. Up, open down and together.
Up, open down and together. One more time. Up, open down and together. And now from there let's take the heels out, keep them on a straight line and then draw them back together. And inhale, reach out.
It almost feels like you have to reach out and back. And exhale. Now imagine if you will that you've got two hands trying to hold your legs apart and you're having to resist or you're having to work against that. And inhale. And then what does it feel like to try to pull your legs together from the center of your body.
Again, like from the trunk rather than from the legs. Is it a different experience? Maybe you're already doing that. I don't know. So we'll go four, reaching out in space.
Not just together but away from you as we create length. Last two. Create length. And one more time out, and then back in and from here we'll take the headrest down if it's up. Gonna venture into some long spine territory.
So what we want to do is we want to externally rotate the hips and then bring the legs just to a vertical position. Now there's a fine line between using your legs enough and too much. So you use them just enough as you roll up to keep the carriage still, but you don't use them so much that the carriage wants to move underneath you. Once you get to the top the legs separate and we roll down, imprinting the spine, keeping the carriage still all the time, dropping the pelvis legs come down and together. So there's a little, it's a hamstring thing really.
It's a back of the legs. It's a back of the body exercise. Back of the legs are working here, the back of the arms are working here. The back extensors are working here. Separate and down.
And then down and together, last time. Letting each movement flow into the next. Separate, and down. Laying the spine down long. And together, and from there bend your knees, and we'll do three short spines as well.
So we take the legs out, pulling through the feet fold the body in half. Keep folding until you arrive at your stopper then roll through the spine keeping the carriage still. Bend the knees. Continue to keep the carriage still as you peel the spine down, using the abdominals, dropping the thigh bones down close to the body. Flex your feet and bring that structure over the top and forward, press forward.
Fold in half, come all the way in. Roll up. And bend, and then slowly roll down imprinting the bones of the spine, dropping the thighs to the outside of the body. Flex the feet, reach through and down. One more time, fold in half.
And lift, and bend, and down. Flexing, bringing the legs through and then separate the feet and open them. Oh, that means the same thing, two words that mean the same thing. So we've separated our feet and I'm gonna hold on to my straps and pull my straps down at the same time as I'm pressing out on my knees with my elbows. So just try to open the hips up.
I feel quite tight in my hips, so I like this stretch, and then just rock to one side and center, to the other side, and center. And just do that one more time to each side. And then when you've finished we're gonna take the feet out, set them down onto the bar, and bring the carriage in. And then turn to your side and help yourself up. I'm gonna go to one red spring and we're come up onto our knees on the carriage.
So let's put the right foot up against the shoulder block and take the left leg. Oh, more hip stretching, yes. Uh-huh. Yep. So here we are in our hip flexor stretch.
We're lifting our spine. Now imagine here that you want to take the pelvis straight back, meaning don't drop it any lower. Squaring the hips. Lengthening the spine. Having a moment just to breathe into the stretch and then bend that front knee, drop the hips forward, lift back up as you come in.
Pausing for a couple of moments, having a couple of breaths here. And then take the pelvis again straight back, lengthening the spine. Coming back in, lifting the opposite arm and just side bending into that bent knee. And then come back and take that foot and put it up against the shoulder block and bring the other foot up onto the bar. Lunging forward, lifting the chest.
Having our moment, so a couple of breaths here. And then sending the pelvis back, squaring into the hips. It's hard to see on your own body. Hard to tell where you are in space, if you're perfect. That's why it's nice to have somebody else's eyes on you when you can.
I think it's so important for us Pilates teachers to have Pilates sessions. I think, I know I'm guilty of this but like we all I think work, you know, do a lot of self work, but it's so hard to know exactly where you are in space. So that's one of my goals this year is to take more sessions. Anyone want to give me a session? And then we bend into that front bent knee.
And both hands come down onto the bar. Let's take that right foot back. So now both knees are on the reformer. Send the hips forward into the down stretch position lifting the chest and take the arms and push, and feel the body lift as it comes up and back through the backs of the legs engaged. Reach out and back in, lifting the chest, pulling the bar apart.
That works for me. I like that idea, pulling the bar apart. And now we're gonna round the spine. Sit back towards the feet. From the round spine make a straight body, press the reformer away.
Press back with your legs, pelvis comes down, and we bring the body up and through. Round the spine, holding the carriage still. From the round spine make a straight body. Press out with the arms. Press out with the legs.
Hips drop, spine lifts up and back, and round, straighten. So we get nice clean lines. Press out, bring the carriage in. We'll just go one more time around. And straighten, and reach down and reach out and come all the way back in and up and lift the hips up and step onto the carriage.
So the heels are back against the shoulder blocks and get nice and long in our spine. Stand heavily on your heels and try to make your toes light, and then carriage goes back and pulls back in. The pelvis is up and open. So shoulder blades are broad. Inhale to take the carriage back.
Exhale to pull back through. Inhale to take the carriage back. Exhale to pull back through. Keeping that nice open position with the shoulders. We'll just do two more out, and then back.
And out, and then back. And then we'll just step off. And we're gonna sit back down and just make sure you've got about a open hand's width of space behind you on the reformer. Taking the legs out straight again. Taking the straps in our hands.
Lifting the spine, arms reaching out. Inhale, allow the elbows to bend. Exhale, bring the arms with you as you roll back looking for the lower back to come into contact with the reformer. We warmed up for this earlier. Open the arms out to the side.
Exhale, bring the body forward, take the arms behind. Lift the arms, reach around in front of you and roll back up. And inhale, bend. And exhale, round. So feel the fists pressing together.
And inhale, open. Exhale, go forwards. Lift up, bring the arms around, let them continue, the straps will lose tension. That's okay. If you've crossed your legs cross the other one on top now.
Bend, and round. And open, come forward, reach back. Lift up, and around, controlling that carriage. Sit up all the way. Last time, bend.
Exhale to round. The shoulders go in to internal rotation as the arms reach out. The carriage stays still as the arms come behind you. Then the carriage begins to move as the arms reach up and then continues to move as we circle the arms around to the front of us. Roll back up, palms face up.
Inhale, bend the elbows. Five, and four. Keeping the spine extended. Three. Pretty good for me.
Two, and one. We're gonna bend and hold. Now we're gonna bring the arms with us as we come down. Inhale, start to reach the arms up and forward. Take the body up and back.
Sit up all the way, arms down and bend, five. Fully extend, four. Fully extend, three. Keeping the body tall is perhaps the biggest challenge. And one, go down.
Arms drop, maintain that 90 degree angle with the arms. Reach up and back. Sit up, arms forward. And now, two without the bicep curls. Roll back, find that nice low position.
Reach up, sit up, and bend. I don't know about you, but my arms are getting tired. Lift up. Sit up all the way and hang up the straps. Okay, so let's turn around.
Scoot right back to the shoulder blocks. Right back to the shoulder blocks, get nestled right up in there. Take the thumbs through the straps. So the straps will be just underneath the arms. Lift the spine, take the arms forward.
Down, internally rotate the arms lift them up towards the earth, externally rotating the shoulders to catch the straps in your hands and bend, inhale. Exhale, forward, keeping the spine aligned straight and still. We'll do two more. Bend, and reach. Go down, lift up and around, and one more.
Reach forward, take it down, lift up, and around, and bend, and now bring the body down. Bring the elbows down with the body. Send the spine out, reach the arms out long. Find spinal extension, lift the body all the way up. Open the arms wide and take the arms down and bend, and round, dropping the elbows next to the ribs.
Feel that you initiate with your back as you look for that back extension, not with your arms. We sit up and we reach around. Two more times. Exhale around, elbows come down. Inhale, we find that nice extension.
Lift up and open, and one more time. Bend, and around, and reach out and lift up and down. So keeping that same red spring we're gonna turn into the mermaid position because life is better with mermaid. Mine, anyway. One hand's on the bar one arm's down and keep the spine straight as we reach out.
That means that bottom hip lifts a little bit. Rotate the body, stabilize the carriage. You can use that arm to help you maximize your rotation. You're gonna unwind and we're gonna drop the hip to come up and inhale, reach out. And exhale, spiral.
And inhale, unwind. And exhale to lift. And reach out and turn, keeping the shoulder blades wide and down. And unwind, and lift up. One more time, but we're gonna stay down at the bottom.
So we turn, taking both hands onto the bar. I want you to push the back shin against the shoulder blocks as you lift and come through into back extension. Stretching the front of the body and reach out. Press down on the bar, lift up and back through the chest, up and back through the back of the head. Come all the way into the stopper and down, one more.
All the way in, and back. Transfer the first arm back to the center. Stabilize, open. Come all the way in. Take the arm off the bar stretch it up near the ears.
Reach up and over to the side. And then what I really like and I'll share it with you, is if you turn you can take your hands and you can hold on the shoulder blocks or those, where the straps pull, and you can give yourself a stretch. It just feels amazing to my back. And then we'll switch sides. Okay, so try to get heavy in both hips.
Sometimes that's easier said than done. Reach out, find your rotation. That's a good place for an exhale. Inhale to open back out. Drop the hip, bring the body back.
And inhale, reach out. Exhale, rotate the body, wring out the spine. Unwind, and come back in. And again, reach out, and around, big rotation. And back, and in, and here comes our back extension.
So we go out first, parallel the arm to the floor then we turn, reorganize the hands and then lift the body up through the arms and press back. And come in, bring the body up and back, abdominals are in, spine is in rotation, and we just go one more time down and back in. Another one down, and put that hand back in the middle, come back open to the side, lift all the way up, lift the arm, lift the ribs up off the pelvis and side bend. Taking a few breaths and then we can turn. Oh, this side is much tighter.
I can't quite reach where I was holding on before but, you know the idea, using the arms to help the spine into rotation. There we go. And then coming back out. Okay, so let's keep that red spring on. Take the bar down.
Step up onto the frame of the reformer. Reach down, hold the carriage still with your hands. Step the other leg out. Now hold the carriage still as you roll through your spine to come up. We'll take the arms out to the side and then we open the legs.
Hold two, three, bring the carriage back. Hold, two, three. It's those holds that are the hardest. Ease your way into the stretch and come back in. Watch that the hips aren't in an anterior rotation or that your low back isn't too much in an arch.
We open, hold, and come back. Hold. Last one. Open, and back. Bend the leg that is on the frame, slide the other leg into the edge of the carriage.
So we're gonna actually stand with a wedged foot. We're gonna put the hands on the pelvis, bend the knees, transfer the entirety of your weight onto your carriage leg and then press the carriage out and back in, out and back in. Again, just staying in an upright position. Breathing. Working the outside of the hip for four, three, two, and one.
Yep, and then straighten both legs. Sit down, walk around, step up onto the frame first. Reach down hold the carriage, step out with the opposite foot. Roll up, lift your back. Pelvis in neutral, arms out to the side and we go open and hold, two, three.
Lift up to come in and hold, two, three, and open, and pull. Three more times. Inhale, pause, and back, pause. And two more out, and pause. And last time, and pause, and bend, slide in.
Both hands on the pelvis, the foot is wedged up against the edge of the reformer. Just using the hands to feel that the pelvis is in neutral, that the body is straight up. Transfer your weight over the standing leg and then take that back leg out, or the side leg. And two, and here it's useful to think of pushing through the heel and turning the knee slightly down. Try not to shift forward or back.
Here's four, three, two, one. Come in, come up, and step down. So let's grab the box and just put it longways on the reformer. Still have one spring. You could go lighter.
You could go to a blue. I like the red spring. We're gonna do the breast stroke. The breast stroke, so exciting. So we take the straps in our thumbs like so.
Check to make sure the box is straight. Put the hands on the box, lie the body down. Elbows reaching down towards the straps, body is straight, abdominals are lifting, legs are active. Take the arms out, keep the body up as you bring your arms around to the sides and then drop the elbows back down towards the springs as we lower, and inhale, reach out, around, and exhale and out. Holding the spine lifted, dropping the elbows down.
Try to keep the hands level with the elbows, definitely not lower, maybe even higher. Two more times, inhale, and fly through space, and bend. One more time, reach out, around and bend. Allow the legs to release. Allow the body to release.
Holding the box with your hands step off onto the floor and then carefully let the carriage come back in. Hanging up the straps. Okay, so let's come up and we'll finish at the front. I'm gonna choose a blue spring instead of the red. Either is fine, I just prefer blue.
We're gonna take the arms out and up over our head, and inhale and round down keeping the pelvis right over the feet, hands come to the edge of the box. Gonna reach the back long and down, and inhale, and then as you undulate back through your spine think about pushing the box away from you and resisting that box's inward journey and then reach out and down. And inhale, and round, wrapping the shoulders around the front of the body, the shoulder blades. And reach out, so getting that nice spinal movement, nice stretch through the back of the legs, and round. Then we just go one more time.
Reaching out and down, and pressing the box away as you roll up. Once the carriage comes in try not to lean back just continue upwards onto your feet, that's surprisingly hard. Then left the arms up floating through the spine. Stay light through the arms as you allow the arms slowly to open and fall. And thank you for being here.
I don't know about you but that was hard for me. Maybe it's easier for you but I hope you felt good and challenged. I did. See you next time.