Girl time! Girl time! It's happening, it's been so long. So long, Summer, but new year. New year, new you? New day. (laughs) Let's do it.
Yep. So, I think I'm gonna start it today. What I have in terms of springs is, I'm thinking really light right now. I'm on a red, but I might even go lighter than that. I'm just trying to warm up our spine, so super-light, whatever that means for you on your apparatus.
That's just about all I need, and then help yourself back up. You can bend the elbows, find a little straighter, let the knees part right now, just kind of be gentle. Inhale, exhale, start the pelvis going back. You might bring your knees a little closer to parallel. I have mine just a bit apart.
I'm not gettin' too techninal there, and then inhale, pull back up. So now, you can even go at your own pace, but I'll stick to that one for now, 'cause I need a little more release of my low back, exactly. And then, I also like to start a workout finding the back side of my body first, so I am pulling pretty significantly, exhale. And as I get going, I'm pushing a little into my feet. Not with the intent on moving the carriage just yet.
Inhale, lift up. There's even a subtle push of the bar that you can do. I like to pull it apart stretch it. You're pulling apart? Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay.
I'm kinda hanging on for dear life, but when I push down (laughs drown out speaker) And then, one more time just to come in. Then you may need to move back a little, or not, and we're gonna roll down, but we'll let go. We're not going all the way, we're just gonna roll down. You can let go a little bit. Curl the pelvis under, maybe hold the legs.
Take an inhale, and exhale. Come back up, find the bar. Yeah, exactly, you too. Find it and lift up. I miss you Meri, I'm trying hard to focus on the work, but there you are, right in front of me.
Inhale, shoulders let's (speech drowned out) Exhale, a little subtle press with the hamstrings. Not just to push to you away, but it's like a downward press. Trying not to move the carriage, and come back up, breathe however. I'm trying not to hold my breath, so if I get one in and one out in a rotation of a movement, I'm happy. Let's just do one more like that.
Take it down. The real point for me sometimes is just to make sure I start it from the right place, 'cause I can collapse. And come back up. Go Meri, go! Hold on, grab the bar, sit tall. If you really don't feel like you can get the full stretch for yourself, maybe separate your feet 'cause I do want a little bit of the sense of I'm upright before I go back down, yeah?
Take one arm up on an inhale. Exhale, sink the belly, push it back down. And what you're so good at Meri, other arm, inhale. We'll do both in a second, but I'm gonna ramble. Is you're so good at keeping your feet down, both arms.
My toes are like hanging on and reaching for some help. Try to wrap 'em around the frame. Ooh, especially now as we come up. Oh, my toes need to be longer, for sure. Kinda fun, grab the bar, sit up straight.
Again. I'm failing Kristi. Impossible, you can scoot back, to be fair, because where you like to pull with your toes, I like to push with my heel. Whatever, see if it means anything, go down. When you get to about the shoulder blades, I'm wishing I'd picked a heavier spring, but worn 'em up, inhale.
We'll do two more after this, just so you know where we're heading. Other side (inhales), and in this case you'll feel if you're dropping into the shoulder, rest both arms, inhale. Try not to, you can touch 'em, but don't drop. Then when you're down, either pull with your toes, or find the connection with the heel to the bar and the back of the body, hopefully, and sit up tall. Inhale. That works.
I said two more, right? I think so. I think I did, I think it's even recorded. Down we go. I'm goin' with the other arm, not that it probably matters.
Someone will tell me it does. Other arm, and right here, there's that upper arm pressing as if it had something to do with the lungs. I suppose it does. Hold when you get there, inhale. Take your foot position, or just get yourself up however you need to, and as it gets more tiring, you'll find me cheating.
Go down, I forgot the back extension part, but anyway. I guess the real point is to go, left arm, or one arm, it doesn't matter, inhale. And exhale. And up. For me, it's finding connection right in the beginning, and sometimes that just reminds you how hard this work is.
Take that inhale, and find your way up however you need to. Wanna take it from here in the next piece? Me? Yeah, why not? Oh, sure, let's hook up the springs for footwork.
Reach forward, come all the way down. We're gonna, you can leave your headrest down or up. Heels of the feet on the bar, arms straight down next to our bodies. Feel the softness of the ribs, down the upper back is down, here we go. We press out and come back.
And out, and back in, initiating the movement from the back of the legs. And I always like to just keep in mind where my weight is over my feet. Am I standing equally on both of my feet is a question I frequently ask myself. We'll do two more, just simple, warming the body up. And then we'll come down and onto the toes.
Pressing the carriage out, finding the weight across the foot, and bend. Press out, and bend, keeping a heaviness in the pelvis. Again, equal weight on both feet, attention to breath. Good to be with you again. Yes, indeed.
No, no, no, no. Press out. Six months since we've done this together, which feels like too long. Love it. Wrapping through the back of the legs.
Do you think engage from the inner thighs? I think both. I was gonna say I kinda. Initiating by finding a sense of wrapping from the back, and squeezing the thighs together. I think that's what I try to do, but the minute I get into my feet, it's a different deal.
It's hard to find. I don't start from my feet. I start from my pelvis, and then once I've got the spring weight, when I'm starting to stretch the spring, that's when I start thinking about wait, is there equal weight on my feet? But I think, come on, we're on our toes now, why think about hips, inner thighs, back of the legs. So, starting closer to the center of the body, finding the muscles there that we're wanting to initiate with, and then that's how we produce the pressure on the feet to begin to straighten the knees.
Yeah, from my glutes. That makes sense, actually, a lot. So, it's like the whole back chain of the body's working, rather than from below the knee. We have approximately four more. (breathes) So, from here, come up onto the toes.
We'll bend the right knee, pull the left heel under, lift on both feet, and then change. Use the foot of the bent knee to initiate the movement. The foot that's pushing into the bar initiates the change. The pelvis is stable, in theory. And we'll do four more, getting that full range stretch.
Oh, scoot then. Lift your head. Maybe I shouldn't have done that. You can pull on the bar, oh my God. Roll, let the legs drape, and go back into that back extension that you started with.
Short box it is, grab them, find them. If not, this can pretty much be done on the floor, but it's not quite as easy to transfer, but it can be done. So, we're putting foot bars down, and locking the carriage down more, or leaving it and just knowing that it could move if you don't. Yeah? Yeah.
Bringing up your foot strap, gettin' all cozy there. And is it safe to say I'm gonna do the BASI version? You do whatever you want. Okay, I'd like to do the version that does the most work for me, which is to have the box just in front of the shoulder rest, and we're gonna sit way forward of the box with the strap where our feet are pretty secure. We're not catching it anymore because there's an opportunity to work the hamstrings in a way that certainly serves me, and maybe you as well.
So, forearm over forearm, get my Pilates nerve band out of the way, and we're tall. We're pressing the forearms into each other, it doesn't matter which foot. If you have the presence of mind to alternate, do. From there, there's a sense of a lift on the inhale. There's of sense of connection through the midline of the body as you roll the pelvis back just like we did in the very first thing, as we go back, we're doing it round back, go ahead, go ahead, go ahead.
And then, I'm only going to the edge of the box max for now. You can go further, but check yourself out, take an inhale. Exhale, keep those hip bones pulled backwards. Come over, shoulders over hips, and then sit back up. You can let those forearms fall.
I don't have the presence of mind to switch my forearms, so I'm not going to. I don't either. So, here we go, we've inhaled somewhere in there. We pull the pelvis away, and somewhere in here you're gonna have the opportunity to downward press on the feet, or the back of the legs. For me, it's the top of the legs into the box.
You can go as far as you want, Meri, I'm stopping here. Inhale, start pulling back with the exhale, with the belly. Keep the curve, maintain the curve, or get it back if you lost it, and then sit back up, just two more. Inhale, exhale, get tall, inner thighs together. Find that midline, let it pull the pelvis, pull back so the body makes the natural shape that goes with it.
Right here, for me, if I think about pushing my hamstrings, or my thigh bones down, it allows me to come forward with less strain in places I don't want it. And sit up tall, last one, inhale. All right, I'm gonna change this one time. Exhale, (laughs) round back. Who cares about symmetry?
It's overrated, I'm sure. Down, down, down, inhale. Start exhaling, reconnect to the back of your body a little. Come forward, and sit up tall. Hands go behind your head, lacing the fingers.
You could use a pole. If it's right there with you, do it. Otherwise, we're just gonna do the tilt to the side. We lift up, we come over to one side and do as direct side bend, as much as possible. Exhale, to bring it back.
I know, I coulda stopped, but I wanted to re-think about pressing my head into the back of my hands. I tend to throw my head forward, so that's how I choose to count. Keeping the hands there, recommit to lifting tall. We're rotating to one side, let's say the right, Meri. Inhale, rotate, lean back on that hinge, it's the twist, it's the twist, and exhale.
I wanna say two more, but that means a lot, so all right, we'll do it. Back, you can do your arms straight, go for it, exhale. Those are ways to advance this, and rotate. As you spiral, can you get taller? Reaching out, not much rotation in the hips.
There's probably some, but not a lot. And then, one more each way, or one more. Inhale, reach look back there, look back there. It turns out where you look is where you tend to go. Oh, that sounded profound, maybe it is.
Yeah, a life lesson, maybe. Maybe, okay, so that's that. Can we go flat back? From here, for me, I'm gonna re-commit to that initial like I'm about to roll back with the pelvis. Just as a bit, it's truly flat.
And up, two more, for real. Inhale, I like to think I'm pulling my head off my back. I was just thinking the same thing. What? I was just thinking the same thing.
I almost said it out loud. Which one? The head thing. Yep, it's that, okay, a little tree? Okay. No?
We're just gonna pull this shin in for three. We pulse, we're thinking tall in the back, two, three. As best you can, keep your spine straight, even if you don't actually straighten the leg, right there. Hinge back, and this is where you're gonna want that other leg, as security. Take the straight leg to 90 degrees, but no more, even if you can, not the time for showing off, we walk down.
You're gonna go for it, Meri? I'm putting my hands on the box. I am gonna go back with the extension. I feel supported. I hope you do too. You bring your head back up, you look towards the thigh, you walk back up, one, two, three.
Feel free to bend the lower leg, sit as tall as you can with that straight leg, and start again. We'll go a little quicker. We pulse one, two, three, extend the leg. Hinge it back 'til it's at about 90. Use that thigh into the box, and down we go, two three.
Arch back, if you're going to, or just hang out. We'll be right back. Head comes up, walk up one, two, three. Stretch yourself, sit up onto those sit bones, way up there. Oh, that's hard.
One more time, and pulse one, pulse two, three. Keeping the shape of the spine as best you can, extend the leg to the extent that you can. Hinge back, walk down. Instead of just climbing down, I tend to kind of think I'm lifting my leg out of the hip. It feels better, even in image, and now I pull it into the socket (laughs), and then it feels just like, "That's natural." And bend it, just hold.
Let's do just a quick over-the-leg for your four leg stretch. (whistles) Yeah, sitting tall. I am tight, tight. Yeah, me too. Tight.
Oh, okay, before I lose my motivation, next side. So, we're stretching legs, we're squares, we can be. We hold that other side, you're up top, elbows are wide. It's really tempting to just hug and bear down, but hold to the point where you're almost pulling apart. You get some back extension, or back activation, I should say, here we go! Pulse one, pulse two, three, do what you can, Kristi.
Extend up, hinge back, don't forget about that supporting leg. It's really what you get, walk down, especially right here. My thigh bone is in that box, and it just feels like I could hang out. I won't, walk back up. Sit, tall, you can bend that forward knee all you want, and then bend.
Was that two of three? Two of three. Here it is. Last one, two, three, extend. You're looking for more room, more space in yourself.
That's sort of what this is about, so that when we go outta here, you got it. You can trust yourself a little bit more in whatever else you actually need to do. That's nice advice. Yeah? Yeah.
Sit up there, you can stretch more. I'm happy here, and then bend the knee first. Finish it out, cross it over when it's time, and either use the handles to support you, or push. (breathes) Some sides are harder than others. Nothing's hard for you, come on, tell the truth.
Okay. So, I'm gonna take my spring down to one red, and one blue. That's my personal preference. Two reds would be also okay.
I'll never forget when you said that. "She'll do anything to get outta working out." Not true. I'm taking my straps 'cause they're not even, and then I thought they might not be. Okay. Good.
(exhales) I'm in the mood, Kristi, just for some nice basic hip work today. You tell me if you need anything different. Thank you, that sounds good. Feet into the straps. Heels together, toes apart, arms down, knees bent.
Again, initiating from the hips rather than the feet, so we feel the muscles in the hips start engaging, and then we almost delay the feet. Almost delay the feet until you feel that sense of working from the hip. And then, I'm flexing my feet. (breathing) I would like to think that like there's something that's heavy out in front of me that I have to push away. And then I also like to think, how much can I feel the work start from my trunk as well?
So, yes, the hips, but also, can I find connection to the Reformer? Almost like the spine is Velcroed to the Reformer, and that engine powers the movement. From there we'll do two more. (breathing) Last time, holding the legs out straight. Point the feet, press the legs down a little further, just hovering over that foot bar, and then around and back to the top.
It was my left leg, actually, but, I was trying to, the one that needed it. I was trying to test my listening skills to see if I could hear from behind me which hip cracked. Oh. But I was wrong. Yeah, sorry.
That's all right, I'm wrong a lot. I'm not ever used to it. It doesn't bother me. Oh, I wish it didn't bother me, when I am. What I like to play with here, Is can I make my legs come into the center exactly the same moment, which is actually quite difficult for me.
Me too, especially now. (breathing) Although, I think the hip crack actually helped. (laughs) Okay then, we'll separate, we'll press down to come together, we'll lift the legs up from the center of the body, open, tighten the back of the legs, press down and together. Inhale, lifting, and opening, just really getting nice and mobile, and our hips are strong and mobile, stable in the pelvis. (breathing) Will you ever get sick of this?
Leg circles? Yeah. Do you wanna know that that's what made me fall in love with Pilates? I believe you. I'm like, who could ever to this? The minute I put my feet into the straps, and I did my first leg circle, it was over.
That was the end. Love at first leg circle? Yep. (laughs) I get it. Two more.
Oh. (exclaims) Which leg was that? Go ahead. The right? Yes, that's never happened.
Thank you, Meri. Okay, so we're gonna stay in front of us. We're gonna make a straight line. So, imagine just skimming a horizon. What a straight line actually feels like in the body is more of a smiley face shape, and then back together.
Obvious that the inner thigh muscles have some role to play, I believe. (breathing) One more. And then I would like to do the short spine. So, we'll reach back, take the headrest down, if your headrest is up. If it's already down, good for you.
Continue to keep the carriage still as you roll down. To do that, we drop the thigh bones closer and closer and closer to outsides of the rib. When you can't go any further, and still keep the carriage still, we dorsiflex the feet. We bring that shape over the top and through. Press out, point the feet.
Fold in half, take the stretch. Exhale, keep the carriage on the stopper. Stand in both straps with your feet. Not so much that you pull on the Reformer, but just enough so that as you bend, you feel that your bend is coming from the back of your leg. And then roll down, bringing the back down, bringing the knees to the outsides of the body, flex the feet.
Bring that shape through, point, and reach forward. Let's do two more. Fold in half, touch, and lift, standing in the upper arms here, keeping the scapula wide and open, rolling down. I feel like I'm a little lower with my pelvis every time, which is exciting for me. It's the little things, Kristi.
I'm feeling I can breathe better. (laughs) What? I'm benefiting greatly from this initial portion of the roll-down coming up, in my lungs, right here, like right there. It's just sort of giving way, but not fully, it's great. (breathing) Let's stay here.
Instead of bringing the shape through, separate the feet and reach for the straps. Bring the elbows onto the insides of the knees. Push the knees away from one another with your arms. Pull down with your hands onto the strap, and all simultaneously, try to continue to drop the pelvis' sacrum down into the carriage. (breathing) I like to tip over to one side.
No. So, we'll just slip the feet out of the straps, and bring the carriage all the way in. And then just get yourself up somehow. We're stretchin'. Okay.
Then as we stretch out, as we push into that shoulder rest, we stretch the bottom of the foot, and for me, it's a little downward pressure of the palms of the hands so that I remind myself to lift up and back. That's sort of where I'm, head is is that. I was doing the same thing, quietly. You were? Mm-hmm (affirmative).
We come from the same (other speaker drowns out speech) Maybe you taught me that, and I just Huh? remembered it from all those years ago. I'm gonna skip the hamstring portion. I am gonna ride forward a little, just sliding forward, I'm not coming out of it. I'm pushing upwards and just trying to kind of change my angle a little bit.
And while I'm up here where it could be technically easier, I'm thinking of pushing the foot further back without moving the body, and then go with it a little bit. Sort of back to where you were, but with that intention. (breathing) And then the way I like to get out of this is relying on the spring a little, so I let it buckle me a little. So I pike at the hip to bring it in. Just so I don't, I don't know, it just feels safer to me.
Other side. Foot on. I'm surprised you didn't walk all the way around the back. Yeah, yeah, be a smart ass right here at the end. (laughs) It's for a workout.
I took my Fitbit off though, you see. But it's true, it's more (speaking over each other) That's why I didn't do it. (laughs) Okay, so, back to biasing towards that tuck. Right, we're not asking for rounded, but it is that sensation, so that when you go in to extension of your back, there's something you're working against, if you will, or with, depending on how you look at it. Coming forward a little, it's a down for me, downward pressure on the hand, but now I re-think about the foot, or the leg action, pushing back with nothing else moving. If I have room to sink into it, I do, but it's still thinking up with the spine.
(breathes) You could stay there longer, but we're not going to. Right? Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay, move in. We're going into a knee stretch.
I am partial to a little heavier. A lot of us, a lot of times, you'll see me teach it with very light springs 'cause I'm really focusing on the end, but sometimes I'd need to be aware of the back, so the push, to then pull in, so. What are you using? I'm using a red and a blue. Medium weight, if you will.
Good. (breathes) Three to go. One, and two, and three. From there, flatten out your back. Again, a downward pressure on the hands maybe will help.
I'll go right into up-stretch too, Meri. From here, we inhale into a plank. We exhale right back where we were. And you play with this idea of like, "Okay, yeah, my arms and legs are clearly involved." But, we can use the springs as a means for knowing we'll get back and lightening up in the middle, meaning lifting up in the middle with just as much contraction as we need to get the springs to help us. One more time.
From there, push down with the whole foot, and exhale, bring it back in. And it's like you're pushing down with the balls of the foot both directions, in my opinion. Look for the work in the middle more than anything. It's not a leg thing. So, this would be place where, oh, it'd be enjoyable to go lighter, but it's still good when you're focused on certain aspects of it.
And for me, I need to know where the back is so I can work differently when I bring it back in. How 'bout one more? (breathing) And with that, we'll come on down. Going into the down stretch, my fault, down stretch. So, back on, where they were.
There's a very good case for breathing the other way, but you have to think. The most important thing is that you just breathe. I agree. (breathing) I'm gonna do two more here, with a reminder of the inner thighs matter here, if you wanna stay centered in the body. One more time.
(breathing) When we get in, you'll keep the shape. You'll continue it coming up to the fingertips, keep the shape of the legs, lift both arms up toward the ceiling, look up and exhale, bring around. Meri, you wanna close this out? Sure, let's turn around. I have a red spring.
(breathes) We'll do four more. (breathes) And three, (breathes) and two, (breathes) one. I don't know about you, but I'm gonna turn around and move to a blue spring. That's a better spring for me for the next For sure. series of things.
Last time. (breathes) And then we'll reverse, making sure that as you lift your arms, the carriage moves right away. Palms of the hands face up as we come down. Exhale, stretch. Inhale, bring the carriage in.
Exhale, stretch, as your arms are reaching up overhead, can we get a sense of lifting the whole spine at the same time. Let's do three. I have no idea the repetitions, Kristi. I'm just kinda feelin' into it. It feels good. One more.
First fingers and thumbs together, hands come behind the head, elbows are in the periphery, scapula is widened. We take the arms straight up from there, and bend. Straight up. (breathes) Breathing. (breathes) Concentrating, or I'd talk to you.
For that, I like to have a little bit more spring, so I'm gonna add a red. I now have a red and a blue spring. Same. Coming back, taking the arms up behind us. Finding an upright position, keeping the scapula parted.
Right, yeah, it's such a, oh, if only I would do that every day, every 10 minutes. We'll do four more. Using the backs of the legs and the abdominals to hold the spine in place. This is our last one. (breathes) We can sit down, hang the straps up.
(breathes) I'm thinking mermaid. I'm happy for that. Do you wanna queue it, or you want me to queue it? I want you to queue it. Okay, sit down.
Here we go. We reach out, keeping the spine long. Take the torso around, let the arm come with you. You can use the arms to help you in any way. Find a stretch that you need.
I know the stretch that I need, but it might be different than the one that you need, and then come back in. And then inhale, reach out, letting the hip lift on the opposite side. Rotate the ribs, allow the arm to come along. Maybe the stretch that you find is a slightly different stretch this time, and then back. It's a great shoulder stretch.
And in, I know. You wanna know what I like? Yeah. Go again. Always.
Do the rotation just like we did. Now this time, take that free arm, the right arm and reach around toward the opposite side of the frame and pull. (laughs) You're welcome. Did I mention the other one was a shoulder stretch (laughter drowns out speech) And then put both hands on the bar on the outside, on the outside, and come in to back extension. Does it feel good?
Yeah, once I got there, yes. Lifting the chest up, up, up, and pressing away. We'll do three. Lifting the chest, so, I'm pushing with my left arm and pulling with my right arm. I'll do one more.
Do you reverse it when you go down? No, I didn't, I kind of relax it as I go down, actually. I don't know that that's the right thing to do, but that's what was happening when you asked that question. Yeah. And then back to center.
Unwind, come all the way in. Hopefully, our sitting bones will sit more sittingly. This feels good too, if you take your hands and hold the shoulder blocks, pull. Are you leaning back or forward? Whatever, do what feels good to you.
I use my right hand to push and my left hand to pull, and I turn. Oh, I got it. And then put your right hand just on the front shoulder block and take left arm overhead and stretch. (breathes) And then come up. Turn sides.
The one time I've ever been happy, I have a second side. That felt great. (rustles) So, the right hand is on the bar. Oh, we could do a little rotation of the pelvis, and we'll get the sitting bone to sit down. And now as we push out, exhale, rotating the rib, allowing the arm to come along.
(breathes) And now unwind, (breathes) and back. (breathes) Using the exhale, the full exhalation, drawing the abdominals into the spine, and then back, and in. This is the last one, we're gonna go to the bar first. (breathes) And then under, and pull. And then both hands onto the foot bar, and lifting the chest, left arm pulling, right arm pushing.
I guess I push more with my right arm than I do anything on the way down. I'm still trying to answer your question. I know you are (laughs). I think it would be weird to do anything other than relax down, or what's natural. I was trying to be creative and it didn't work, again.
(breathes) And then we take the right hand back, unwind, lift up, grab the shoulder blocks or the handles, pull. I push with my left hand and pull with my right hand and turn, but again, that's what feels good in my body. So, maybe it'd feel better to arch, or what, I mean, I don't know. It's an imaginary thing, the stretch. And then the left hand can hold the front shoulder block.
The right arm can come up and we can side bend. (breathes) And then here's what I think we should do, just stay where you are, but take your feet down onto the floor. Put yourself in a place where you've got enough room for your own arms, so you might have to come. I have to come in towards the shoulder block a little so I have room for my fingers. You're gonna bend the elbows.
The shoulder blades continue to feel as though they're going forward. The bottoms of the shoulders forward and down. Does that make sense to you? It feels so good. (laughs) Okay, good.
And so important, honestly. Out to the sides of the scapula, stay apart. We're actually trying to stretch them more apart. And then we'll bend, go into rotation. Again, it's not a lumbar, it's not leaning.
I'm really trying to really magnify the movement above my bra line, or above the ribs, of the bottom of the ribs. And we'll just do one more. Arms reaching, go for it if you want. Make it big, make it little, make it yours. And then, let's down, we'll just finish all the way down.
(breathes) And if you make me wait six months again, (laughs) we're not friends anymore. No! Just kidding. Thank you. Thanks everybody. See you next time. Thanks.