Class #3556

Restorative Reformer

45 min - Class


Find a connection to your center with this restorative Reformer workout by Meredith Rogers. She continues on with her gentle practice after a recent back injury, moving slowly and gently so that she can ease back into the work. She works on creating mobility and stability with basic exercises like Bridging, Frogs, and more.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video


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So I recently hurt my back, which is a brand new experience for me. It's never happened to me before and I've been sending a lot of time resting and I'm finally finally getting back into my movement practice and I'm going really slow. So I hope you'll join me and enjoy this restorative type, very basic class. And let's get started. So I've got springs for footwork set up on the reformer and um, I'm just gonna start lying down on my back so you could also lie down on your back. Okay.

Supine Breathing

So I've just a, the flipper is down. I'm just standing on the frame of the reformer getting long through the arms and just taking a minute before we start creating movement patterns to create some heaviness in the body. Yeah. To let any stress or tension. Okay.

Melt through the reformer and away from the body. Okay. And then just bring some awareness into breath. So allowing the ribs to stay heavy on the mat, but to expand and as they expand, expand outwards and backwards on the inhale. Okay.

And as we exhale, the ribs start coming back into one another, knitting together down the front of the body and tying that sensation in with a drawing in and up through the abdominals so it doesn't look like I'm doing much, but I can feel quite a lot of sensation. Inhale, expanding the rents an exhale, allowing them to fall into, knit back together, engaging through the center of the body. We'll just do one more free breath. Inhale, feeling the top of the head and the tailbone stretch actively away from one another and exhale and then inhale again. This time as you exhale, press down into your feet and just rotate the hips under and so that the lower back comes into contact with the reformer. And then in here will travel through neutral position in the pelvis and into just a little bit of a, and here your pelvic tilt, a little bit of an arch and then coming back to center and exhale using the abdominal. So feel that I can really get the lower back to open and mobilize from the front of the body. Inhale, traveling through neutral and into extension, a neutral when we're like that exhale and in hair, a little bit of extension, just the gentle rocking and she has the pelvis goes into extension or arching that the head is slides a little bit proving that we're attached from our spine, from the base of our spinal all the way out to the school.

Posterior and Anterior Pelvic Tilt

And we're gonna start lifting the pelvis up. Now lifting away from the bed, holding the reformer still and bringing the hips up. Inhale there. Exhale, drop the chest down, feel the knees reaching up towards the ceiling and also forward as heels pull back towards the fingers and the fingers reach forward towards the heels. So in an effort towards healing or moving, the best thing I know how to do is go back to the basics. Lifting up, back to the simple movements and excelling as we roll back down, just creating some gentle movement in the body and noticing where is there tension? Is there stress and lifting, standing in the feet, standing in the back of the arms in here, into that bridge position and exa lengthening or melting the spine down, allowing it to soften. Okay.


As it comes back down into the carriage, let's do two more in here. Is there equal weight on your feet and your legs? Is there equal sensation in your arm? Can you feel the heaviness in the back of the head? Can you feel that the head, the top of the head stretches longer away as the spine is being placed down onto the reformer. One more time in here, standing in the feet, talking the tail under, rolling up, finding hip extension, feeling the backs of the legs and in here, and exhale gently laying the body back down each time with the last and the less attention. Once the pelvis comes all the way down, we'll reach around towards the hooks. Lift the feet up, stabilizing the lower back before picking both legs up, bringing the legs up into a tabletop position.

Supine Spinal Twist

We'll take them over to the right in. Yeah. And we'll exit to come back through center and we'll take them over to the opposite side and kneel, lifting off one hip onto the other dry knee of dominoes. And as we bring ourselves back to center and inhale up in over, just a gentle her rocking action in the spine and inhale up and over. Okay. So I'm not going to too far today. I'm not, I'm definitely not challenging my rain and just letting him just going to where I feel nice and safe and my body.

Yeah. And I, I'm easing my way into eat, which movement an inhaling over and exhaling back and inhaling over and exhaling back. We'll just do one more to eat side in healing across egg. Failing to come back in alien cross. Excellent. Come back, stretch the right leg down and just rest it on the foot bar.

Bring the right hand to the outside of the left. Sigh and lift the left hip up. Coming into a stretch. [inaudible] coming back through center. Take the left leg down, lift the right leg. Ah, twist the opposite direction over to the left. [inaudible] I'm coming back to center. Placing the feet either onto the bar, back down onto the frame. I kind of liked them on the bar for now. Gonna reach around, put the hands behind the head.

Spine Twist Stretch

So what I've done is I've just scooted forward enough so that my hands can come in between them. My risk can come in between the pegs and the shoulder blocks, imagining that the feet are stuck to the bar. We're going to curl the head and chest up and then envision or imagine trying to lift the feet off the bar simultaneously. They're not lifting, they're stuck, but it's just the sensation of lifting and that really helps me find the center of my body and a really dynamic way. And then lower town and in here, exhale, head and chest up ribs sliding down the front of the body. Feet stuck to the bar, but trying to lift the bar up, holding to inhale and excelling to lay back down. So there's abdominal work happening in both directions. Again, inhale again. EXA head and chest up, feeling that sense of trying to float the feet.

Chest Lift

Inhale to stay lifted and Xcel as we lay our spinal all the way back down again. We'll just do a few more in here and exhale, deepening with the end of the exhale. Breathing all the air out of the body and filling up with Bryn new fresh oxygen. Two more exhale until list deepen in here and exhale to come down. So as I'm lifting, I'm making sure that as I'm coming up into flection on the ceiling, that my lower spine responds and flattens into the carriage.

Imprinting the spine, let go, bring the hands behind the thighs. Lift just a little bit more deeply, not necessarily much higher. Just use the arms to find a deeper connection. Then take them just over the knees and inhale, reaching across one knee and Xcel to come to center and in you're reaching across the other knee and exit to come to center. I'm not going too far. I'm reaching my pinky finger opposite being pinky finger just outside that's outside of the kneecap. And inhale, reaching over and exhale coming center and lifting as I go up and over and exhale, trying to maintain the height of the trunk throughout and noticing as we're rotating back and forth that the pelvis is just staying right as it is. Doesn't shift, doesn't lift from side to side.

Chest Lift w/ Rotation

We don't lose the sensation of holding the back of both hips on the carriage. We're going one more time center and to the other side and center and then let the hand separate. Bring the body down, stretch your legs out along the foot bar. Bring the arms up towards the ceiling, lift the head and chest, imprint the lower spine in to the mat and roll up all the way. So from here we'll just set the bar up, getting ready for some foot work. [inaudible] coming all the way down, placing the heels of the seat on the bar.


Breathing in, breathing out to stretch the legs out. Long pause when the, when the legs are straight and just finding the neutral pelvis, finding the back side of the ribs. I'm an arrest my hands just on my asi s today and bending back in and what I'm doing here just for myself as I want to know if both hips are staying, even as I push in and out and I wanna know if both hips are staying grounded, meaning grounded backwards into the carriage and press out and bend in. And what I can also do with my hands like this, so with my fingers run across the lowest area of my abdominals, I can focus on pulling down and connecting to that place in my body. Another thing to think about is you could create with your, the heels of your hands a gentle squeeze.

Like you're trying to squeeze your Asi as or your front hip bones towards one another and see if that helps you find more sensation in your abdominals. Just gonna do one more. So I'm just doing this or tracking hurries, strengthening the muscles, getting the body moving again, coming onto the toes pressing. Yeah, it's going to lift my head and look at my alignment. Neutral pelvis back of the ribs, have aid and we press in and lengthen and press in and lengthen at to as the knees bend. Can we feel a sensation of the spine? Almost trying to lengthen backwards or keep the carriage back as long as we can is that knees are bending to bring the carriage towards the stopper.

Toes Parallel

Breathing. I'm going to inhale out today and x, a connected inhale. Exhale, connect and we'll do three more. Noticing if the low back wants to adjust and flatten. We want to keep that lower back neutral one more and coming back and then at the bottom we'll bring the heels together, toes apart, pressing the heels together to stretch the legs long.


I'm noticing as I do that I'm wanting to talk to my pelvis. I've readjusted pressing out a little ang thinning out through the spine or just holding that nice stable position in the spine. Feel that there's a combination of outer hip work, external hip work and inner thigh work. As we press the heels into one another, straightening the legs all the way before bending to come all the way in. Inhaling back and exhale resisting in.

We'll do three more out back in out. I'm thinking all the time about keeping those lower abdominals, pulling away from my fingers last time out and pulling back. And I aren't going to take the feet out to the outside of the foot bar. So I've just separated that Small v position to a more open stance, squeezing the heels towards one another on the bar, reaching out in, then resisting back, reaching and resisting and inhaling and exhaling and inhaling and exhaling. Getting the blood moving, getting them muscles working. I don't want to do five squeezing the legs together on the bar for and pulling back in three pulling knack in to to being very vigilant with the connection to the front of the body. One more coming back in and then we're gonna come onto the toes.

Heels Wide Second

Okay. And we continue pulling the big toes now together on the Bar and resist Richa [inaudible] [inaudible] fully extend and, and finishing that straightening of the legs. I really drawing in and up with the quads and the correction of the quads all the way up to behind the naval. We'll do fine and back for keeping those hips nice and steady. Three and back to [inaudible] and back. One more time. Inhaling and exhaling and then we're going to come back to the center of the bar on the toes. Yeah, and [inaudible] taking both heels down and both heels down and feeling that we're trying to connect the movement of the heels all the way up the backside of the Lei fully flexing the feet under the bar, fully lifting Baca up and finding a rhythm. My rhythm, my personal rhythm them that I like is down to three up to three down to three up three we'll do three more.

Toes Wide Second

Orange and equal joints last time lifting and then beginning to press down and then down and then up. This is one of the best places to feel with the hands. If there's any shifting lateral shifting of the pelvis or transfer as front to back shifting of the pelvis [inaudible] let me just get that full stretch again. A full articulation of the foot. We'll do five more to each side and for keeping the front of the body nice and engaged, and three c two too. I'm just going to pause on one side and get a nice stretch. Lowering the foot under the bar.

Lower Lift

Keep reaching the heel end of the bar, but allow the knee to start bending so you feel the stretch. Travel up a little higher into the calf and then changing, breathing and releasing tension bending and then coming back in and wrapping the toes over the bar in a prehensile position. So I'm basically, I've got the pads of my toes right at the top of the bar. I'm going to wrap my toes around. As I press out, I'm in it. Take my heels all the way under and I keep trying to reach my heels under the bars. I bend my knees and bring the carriage back. Press out, dropping heels, keep the heels reaching down as I bend it and press out, dropping heels and coming back. Press out, dropping the heels and coming back.


We'll just do this twice more today. Pressing at dropping the half, coming back. One more time. Feeling that stretch right across the foot, Eh, and coming back in. And then just take the feet up on the bar right to the outsides of the feet. We're going to just move the arms out of the way. We're going to take one knee down towards the foot bar. I just getting the pelvis to do a little rotation, letting the hip on that side get a stretch in open.

Prehensile Toes

Then over to the other side. Yeah. And then center. We'll just do one more to each side. [inaudible] know I'm more to the other side. [inaudible] and then coming back. Okay. So let's turn over onto the side.

Spinal Twist

Use our arms to help ourselves up and then we'll go into a spring change. So I'm going to go from my footwork springs to a red and a blue spring. And then coming back down. Tell you what, after not being able to move my body for quite a few days, I'm feeling a number of things. Gratitude being the first, but I'm back into my movement. Practice and empathy being another, having never really known what it's like.

Arms Reaching Forward

I mean I've been hurt other places but not incapacitated completely, so I'm happy to be moving my body again and I'm happy that you're here with me. So taking the arms in, setting the arms, putting some intention into the straps. Once you've got that again, stabilizing through this spine, picking up one lay and then the other pressing the knees into one another. We're going to take the arms down in forward and up. X.

I want us to think of pressing down through the ribs to move the arms as though we were going to lift up into trunk flection. We will in a minute, but just using that visual to create arm work from the center of the body rather than just from the arms. We'll do four more. Inhale and exhale. Press the air out of the body and in here keeping the Scapula wide pressed and two more lift pressed down. One more lift and press down at the bottom.

Turn the palms to face the hips and reach out. Pull back and in here and exhale. You've ever heard me teach this before? He'll know that. One of my favorite visuals here is of a bellows. You know that bell is that open to bring air in like a fireplace, bellows. And then as you try and press the air out of the body, the two sides of the bellows pressed together and that dispels the air. We'll do three more here, out and back.

Arms Open Close Side

And just using the breath as a meditation and back. One more out. Yeah, and back. Lifting the arms, opening the arms without moving the carriage and come down. Rotate the palms, lifts arms, keep the carriage still open and press down with the arms. Stabilize the reformer pressed down and, Huh.

Arm Circles

Press download. Do three more. Okay. Press down if it gets too hard to hold the feet up. And I think did you do is just let the knees bend more or less, less weight on the hip flexes there. Less weight on the back. Let's reverse. Take it out. Stabilize the shoulder blades, lifts the arms and press straight down and open.

Keeping the carriage still from out to up. Empress, straight down and open over the shoulders and, and open over the shoulders. And we'll do three more. Inhale and decks to India, working from the center of the back to stabilize the shoulder blades. Last one over and dad and then bending the elbows. Bring the elbows in Nice and close. Keep them just off the mat and straighten and bend.

Tricep Press

Fill that that is straightening and initiates from right in the center of the back, not by pressing the shoulders together just by feeling the separation of the shoulder blades and a gentle depression. Press and trying to pull the front of the body down away from your clothing. We'll do five and four and keeping everything nice and stable. Three, two and one. Lift the arms up and inhale. Exhale. This time they hadn't just does lift.

Chest Lift w/ Arms Reaching Forward

We press out towards the foot bar, lift arms and bring the body back and Xcel lift. Reaching past the hands and inhale, lift farms and come back and exhale, lift up and in stabilizing and have more excess and back. And last exhale, holding the body up. Take the arms out, back in and keep the curl. Last two one one up to bring the head down. Place, the feet down on the foot bar. Push out with your feet, put one foot into the strap, followed by the other. Okay.

Chest Lift w/ Arms Open Close Side

Coming into a frog position of laying the arms down long on our side arms. Feel like I've got all that. A lot of energy rushing through them at this moment and we press away and [inaudible] keeping again that neutrality in the hips. I like to imagine that before my legs get to move, I have to cert pulling the reformer from my trunk, from my, from my abdominals. Is that Riana? No, but it feels different to me and again, pressing at the heels, it squeezing together. I'm bending in and pressing and bending and [inaudible] we'll do about four and more.


Getting those hips nice and mobile and nice and warmed up and bending in and to and bending it and taking the legs out, down, all round and together and pressing away. Reach out all around and touch and pressing away. Reach out, all rounded together and just keep going. Feeling here again that as we go to start that movement, we first pulled in an app from the trunk and the legs can move and we'll do that five more times. I like in this direction specifically try to see if I can get my legs to come together at the exact moment. That's difficult for me.

Leg Circles

[inaudible] I don't know. I'll do three more. Creating mobility and stability. Yeah. And two more. All I'm gonna. One more all rounded up and then from the top, let's open press down and together, lifting through the center and left and open. Press down and together.

Left and open. Press down and together. Yeah, just feeling that freedom that we can create that beautiful movement and the, that rotational movement. Making sure as the legs come up, the pelvis stays nice and heavy. We'll do about three more, Huh. And Open and together to more app and open NT. Other last time I okay.

And Open and together from there keep the heels just reaching out on a straight line as they open and press back and in the outside open drive in through the center of the body to bring the legs back and email to open. So I'm not letting my legs drop. In fact keep them level what I have to think about us making a little bit more of a smiley face shape than a straight line. Yes, the line isn't straight, but the sensation is that the feet start to go out, go out and that the end it feels as though they're lifting up a bit and we'll just do that twice more open and back and open. Okay. And come back and bend the knees and stretch the Lange's.

Legs Open Close Side

Point the sheets and fold all the way in half. Bring the carriage in, rolling, bending the knees, articulating the spine down, allowing the thigh bones to start to drop towards the body and then bringing the legs through and forward. Press out, folding in half, allowing the carriage to come to a stop. Roll up, keeping the carrots, still bending the knees and he long gating through the spine. As we drop the knees towards the body, find the stretch through the back of the legs and in the back. Reach through and forward would just do one more easy, does it all the way in. Okay.

Short Spine Massage

And uh, and bend and all the way town. And, and then just bringing the legs up, flexing the feet, pulling down on the straps to give the back of the legs. And I stretch [inaudible] maybe even letting the pelvis lift a little bit to get more of a stretch in the lower back area. And that's in that place. We could bend the knees a little bit. You can kind of just explore what feels good or appropriate to you. Today we're gonna bend the knees, bring the elbows on the inside of the knees, pulling down on the straps and pushing out on the knees with the arms. Taking a couple of breasts. I like to rock.

Hamstring and Inner Thigh Stretches

Just real gently from side to side here. Stretching first one hip, and then the other stretching. [inaudible]. Okay, well both hips are stretching. If we're going to tell the truth, but one hip gets a little bit more of a stretch leaning and do it. Yeah, they have gets a little more of a stretch. I'm leaning into it and we'll just do one more to the other side. [inaudible] and then taking the legs out to the side, pressing through the heels.

I pull down on my straps and back and always just finding the stretch that feels appropriate in your body. Taking a few breasts there and then bringing the bottoms of the feet, the soles of the feet together and putting the hands on the inside of the leg. Pressing the knees out in a way, out in a way. And again, a little rock to one side might be appropriate here and again on the other side. [inaudible] and then gently slipping one foot out of the strap, resting it on the bar. Yeah, their foot can come out of the strap. Can the kerogen.

I'm going to drape my straps over my pegs, drape my knees over the foot bar, squeeze the foot bar with my leg, lift my head and chest roll up, all reaching for the foot bar, allowing the knees to fully bend over the foot bar and using my arms to lift my back up. Yeah, taking a couple of breaths here and then bringing the legs around in down. So we're going to go down to one spring, one red and stand up on the floor. Place one foot outside foot, some the outside of the reformer and place the other foot against the shoulder blocks. Hands on the Barb. We're going to push that leg down and back as we go back with the like we're thinking about finding our biasing toward towards a posterior tilt, keeping the back of that thigh hip engaged breathing and then keep the pelvis going straight back as we straight in out the front leg.

Eve's Lunge

[inaudible] then bending biasing towards a post. Cheerier told us bring the carriage in. [inaudible] flexing the foot, taking the hips straight back. [inaudible] coming back into the stretch. So I have my right knee. On the carer. Domino lift my right arm up and I'm on the side and up and over to the left [inaudible] I'm going to put my right hand down. I'm going to lift my left arm up the side, been up and over to the right [inaudible] and then coming all the way in.

Wow. And over to the other side. [inaudible] so foot against shoulder block, their foot just outside the frame. [inaudible] reaching down, taking a couple of moments, just breathing in and breathing out. Using the harms to help assist the spine into that upright position and then taking the hips straight back for a stretch in the hamstring.

[inaudible] not a massive hamstring stretch if I'm honest for me. But the hip flexor stretches definitely appropriate for me in this, in anything bigger I think I just wait on hips. Go straight back. Squaring to the best of your ability. That's always kind of tricky with, I thought some of the someone else's guidance and then kind of in back of like a strong, so my left knee is on the reform. I'm going to lift my left arm off side and up and over to the right. I'm coming back. I hadn't. Kevin's down. Ride over, comes up side bend up and over to the left, coming back, coming in and coming onto both knees, both feet up against the shoulder blocks, sitting down towards the feet.

Knee Stretch Round Back

Want us to go into a little bit of pelvic rotation? Lifting the hips, just stuff the feet and then keeping the spine stable and supportive. Taking the carriage out and then back. So resisting from the front of the body. Inhale and exhale this from the front of the body, allowing the back to open and stretch. Okay.

Just to chill out in back in. Okay. Yeah, in back in. And then bringing the feet together between shoulder blocks, sitting back towards the feet, resting the forms on the bar and just coming down into a rest position or resting position. And then we're gonna come up from there. I'm going to take my bar down now.

Seated Side Bend

Yeah. I'm just going to sit for a moment with both feet on the floor and just comes to that. The Shins, the backer, the calves are right back up against the frame. Take the arm that's closest to the foot bar. Reach it up towards the ear, the opposite, hands down on the carriage and you are just going to side bend for me. I'm not pushing anything, I'm just going where it feels nice. Press up with the arm on the carriage. Put the other hand down side then in the opposite direction. So I'm bending the arm of the hand that I'm resting on.

Okay. Come back up. Changing again. Cycle up and over this time I'm going to reach over the top or rounding spine around. Come back and then the side. Okay.

Um, back and all the way at park. Let's get a bottle. [inaudible] so I'm going to change the red spring to a blue and come on to the box, bringing the arms along the frame basically as high of as much far forward as I can. Reach. Taking care to feel that the pelvis is anchored in the box. The abdominals are lightly lifted, backs of the legs are energized. I'm not going to lift very high today.

Modified Pulling Straps

I'm just going to slide my scapula down and think of sending my chest up through my arms. Okay. And then back. So little little back extension and lifting up hips or forward focusing the in energy and the movement right in the upper back area. Then really sitting back down and again [inaudible] sliding the shoulder blades down, lifting up through the center of the body.

Yeah. Coming back down just to more today, this is the direction that this is the most challenging for my body currently. Okay. [inaudible] and back down and one more [inaudible] and back down. I know likes to soften, allowing the spine to hang over the box, your thing, the head, bringing the hands to the box, stepping off, pressing up, standing on both feet and standing up.

Spinal Articulation w/ Box

Got To think real systematically these days I do start to bring the arms out the chest lightly as the arms come up and then around forward and allow the hands to come onto the box. Okay. As we inhale, we'll take that back out in the pelvis, move around the Femur, and then exhale, talking under and rippling back through and then reaching out rather than down initially. Finding the length of the spine and then taking the body down and keeping the pelvis right over the feet. We just can do that one more time. Reaching out first and then down.

I think the sitting bones widen and exhale as we roll through comma, all the way in. Oh, the weight lifting the arms up with us. Yeah, the energy in the body. Hopefully you feel light and at ease. Bring your arms all the way down to the thighs. Thank you.

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1 person likes this.
Thank you for this! It's exactly what I needed today!!!
1 person likes this.
Thanks Meredith! Needed a nice gentle class today and this was perfect. Hope your back feels better soon!
2 people like this.
Hope you are feeling better! Thanks.
1 person likes this.
Thank you and hope you are feeling much better now...
1 person likes this.
Felt awesome! Nothing worse than back pain Meredith hope you feel better!
Love this workout! Feel very balanced & open after a long, stressful week.
1 person likes this.
This video arrived at the perfect time since I pulled my lower back out about a week ago. Today was my first Pilates workout back (and I was nervous about what to do...until I saw “restorative reformer”) and it left me feeling more mobile and stronger. Thank you!

Hope you are also feeling better!
Tracey S
1 person likes this.
Hi Meredith, so sorry to hear of your back injury. Whilst my back is currently non-injured this was a perfect class for a sunny chilled Sunday in Oz. Thank you. I might need to schedule it for a regular chilled Sunday. I do hope you repair quickly.
1 person likes this.
I hope you'll feel better soon 🧡 I love how gentle and genuine this workout was. We all need to use empathy during our own practice as much as we do for our clients. Love you Meredith 😘
1 person likes this.
Thanks for the lovely lesson. Wishing you a full and speedy recovery!
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