Class #3705

Private Reformer Session

55 min - Class


Learn how you can become a teacher rather than just an "exercise-giver" with this Reformer workout by Carrie Pages. She teaches a session that's similar to what she regularly teaches at her home studio, making sure to address Mychele's specific needs. She shows how your cueing can make a huge difference in how your client moves and she demonstrates the importance of stepping back so you can see the full picture.

This class is related to a workshop that Carrie will film later this year.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Pilates Pole

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi everyone. Today, I have the lovely Mychele joining me. And we're gonna go through a reformer workout today. So I purposely planned this reformer class to be a no-frills, nothing crazy workout. I wanted to teach a session that's more like the type of session that I teach every day.

Pilates Stance

In my personal practice, I have a good time doing some of the fun crazy stuff and transitions and things like that, but when I'm teaching every day, I am often teaching some of the same exercises. But what makes a teacher more than an exercise giver or a repetition counter is looking at the body, stepping away from it, and making sure that you're giving them what they need that day. I think this is really important. Because if you start to teach the same thing every day, you're going to find yourself in burnout. Sometimes what causes burnout though isn't just what you show up to the studio with, but it's what your clients might show up to the studio with.

So if your student comes in and they're wanting to talk about their weekend or what they're gonna have for lunch, you have to control that or else you're just gonna be listening to them talk all day and you're gonna feel like you can't take it for another second. So, you take control. You step away from the client, you look at them a little bit differently. And if you watch the workshop that I filmed, you're going to see exactly the way that I look at the body. I start from the feet and I work my way up the body.

So if I'm having one of those moments where maybe I'm even a little bit distracted, it helps me to start from one key connection and move up the body to get inspired to teach that client. So, Mychele, are you ready to get started? Absolutely. Okay, girl, lie down. (laughs) So you just lie down, nothing fancy. Alright.

So, I'm just gonna start by looking at the position of her feet. Go into a slightly greater Pilates V turnout. So, I just wanna mention that one of the things that is important is that we take control over the session. I could've just let her lie down and get going and she might start talking about her weekend, but instead, I have a responsibility to take over the workout, make sure that she's getting what she needs that day. So, we're gonna take it a little bit wider.

See, I'm not afraid, I'm just gonna tell her. That's what they're here for. I'm also gonna ask you to take your heels about an inch lower. So what ends up happening is you have a little more flexion at your ankle. Yes, yes, and now her eyes got really wide.

You look amazing. Think about the sides of your heels, and wrapping the sides of your heels around to come together so it's less squeezing here, yes, it's almost like your little foot's gonna turn out. Now what's really fun, draw your knees in one more inch. Yes. Are you doing Pilates?

Yes. I thought so. (laughs) Mychele, go ahead and straighten your legs. Breathe in to take it up. And breathe out to come in. Now, right now I'm really standing above her, okay?

To really get a great perspective of her body, I have to get away from her a little bit. So I'm just gonna step back and check out what's happening. Mychele, you look great, I'm gonna ask you to come in for just a second and pause for me. This is one of my favorite tools to use when I'm trying to help someone to get out of a slight feeling of what I call a tucky butt, 'cause clients don't posterior pelvic tilt is. So we're just gonna work on this for a minute.

I want you to take this bar, we're gonna put it right here, and you're gonna put your fingertips right on it. I have the bar as low on the mat as possible. You don't want it up really close to her bum yet. Straighten your knees for me, please. Right, Mychele in this position, the bar's under your thigh bones, can you bring your thigh bones closer to the bar?

Okay. Just leave your heels up for me. Right there. Oh, there it is. Okay, so I hope at home, you are able to see a pretty amazing shift in the position of her body.

Remembering that this stuff doesn't always work, but because I stepped away and looked at what she was doing, I went, uh, I feel like there's something I need to address. So, that worked so well. That was really making me look really smart. (laughs) So she's got this beautiful length in the front of her body. Her pelvis is way more neutral. And now we're also balancing out the muscles of her legs working, so it's not just all through here, she's got some work back, oh, and you should feel that, she's really working there.

Now here's the trick, when you bend your knees to come in, think about keeping your thighs on the bar. It's not gonna happen. Bend your knees and just think, pull the thighs towards the bar, oh my gosh, that is amazing. Take it to the top. And you come in.

Alright, now pause for a second. Thigh bones to the bar, Mychele, down. Good, go again, good, we take it up. Yes, alright, before your bend your knees, think, I'm gonna keep my thighs on that stick, go. Bend, thighs to stick, thighs to stick, thighs to stick, much better.

Again. Good, now I've got you totally not breathing. Should I say something about breath? Come on in. There you go, sweet girl, that is so good, ready, go again.

Up, thigh bones to the stick, bend the knees. Gosh, that's so good, give me just one more. Really working on concepts, we're not going for a total just 100 reps or anything. Okay, beautiful, relax. That was so nice.

We're gonna leave the bar there for bird feet. You can take away, of course do whatever you want, but I feel like that's really clicking with her, so I don't wanna take the tool away. But remember, whenever you use a prop, the ultimate goal is to eventually get that prop out of the way so it just doesn't become kind of, not a crutch, but it just doesn't become the, okay, we're doing the stick thing now. I wanna eventually get it away and inspire her to work with the stick even when it's not there, okay? Bird feet, knees and toes together, mm-hm.


Wrapping the toes like a little bird on a perch, here we go, push to the top. Thighs to the stick, and when you bend your knees, yeah, go again, take it back, pause. Think about the back of the thigh, high where the thigh meets the butt. Pull where the thigh meets your butt to the stick. Okay, pause for a second.

Drop your booty down down down down down down, yes. Go back, perfect, yes, perfect, go up, I should say. Think up where the thigh meets the butt to the stick and bend the knees. Good, we're gonna get two more In. And I'm gonna change what I'm saying, I want you to think of right here pulling to the stick when you bend more. Ah.

So that the little tail can drop. Yeah. And do it one more time today. Hm. And bring it in.

Alright, Mychele, walk up to your heels. So the toes are pulling back. Mm-hm. Ready, take it to the top. Same thing, now pause for a second.


Without locking the knees anymore, think thighs to stick. Yes, now bend. Creasing at the hip, good. Again, take it to the top. Bend to come in.

Alright. Even when I'm not 100% getting 100% of what I'm looking for, I have to chill out. If I stand over her and obsess, it makes her feel uncomfortable and it just loses some of the joy of the workout and it becomes, am I perfect. I don't care if she's perfect but I wanna give her an experience of having a real teacher. So now what I'm gonna do is step away from her body again and I'm gonna move up the body as she gives me three more.

Take it to the top. Bend to come in. Take it up. Bend to come in. One more time.

As I stepped away, one of the things I observed that I'm gonna make a change on is the position of her head on that headrest. So it's okay that I didn't see it right away. What I'm gonna do, Mychele, is I'm gonna lower your headrest. Oops, there we go, okay. Now what I like about this for her is it gives her head an opportunity to be a little bit more in alignment with her spine.

Calf Stretch

This isn't perfect for all people, and to a certain extent this does need to be a comfort situation, so are you uncomfortable with your head down? Yes is a fine answer. No. You're not? No.

Okay, great, okay. So she has her head down now. I'm a lot happier with the position of her head and neck. Just wanna reinforce I would not have seen that if I had just stayed on top of her and obsessing over her butt, okay? So, next one, Pilates V on the balls of the feet again.

Mm-hm. Alright, so these are the heel raises. We're gonna press to the top, breathe in to get there. As you breathe out, will you hold in a high tippy toe? Mm-hm, right there.

Let's find another breath. And as you exhale, let your sternum heavy, your ribcage slide, down, ah, look at her thighs on the stick, and rise up and keep your thighs on the stick. Okay, and keep going. Now she's gonna not listen to me as I say this. 'Cause these are not things that we wanna say to our clients because it makes them feel like they're not doing a fantastic job.

We wanted them to walk out the door feeling better when they walked in, so you do have to be a little careful. I wanna note that I am seeing a little bit of a little hyperextension in the knee. I'm gonna let that go today, because I'm really giving her enough to think about, she's feeling successful because I've given her some new things to do. If I overdo it, she's gonna start to feel unsuccessful and walk out feeling like she disappointed me. And as crazy as that sounds, that really does happen.

How's your heinie? Oh, it's on. One more, rise up. Lower down. That's absolutely beautiful, rise up, bend your knees, come all the way in.

Thighs to the stick, I love it, that was good. (laughs) Alright, that was really fun. Alright, so. We're moving on. Take the handles in your hands. I'm gonna lighten her down to just two springs.

I have her on two reds on this Balanced Body Reformer. For a prep for 100, scoot down off your shoulder rest please. Good. Take your arms directly to the ceiling above you. I always find that when I start the 100 with the hands right almost a little diagonally back, I don't like the way that that feels on the shoulders.

I know that from personal practice, which is of course another huge part of being able to communicate this content well, so don't forget to do Pilates. To be able to fix it, I'm gonna ask you to push with your feet on the bar a little bit and roll backwards. Split the difference, go to right there. Right there? Yeah right there, it's subtle, but it kinda gets you a little more where you have control and you're not hanging back.

Hundred Preparation

So in this position, Mychele, keep your hands with energy against the straps. Find an inhale, please. As you let your breath out, send your sternum down, send your ribcage down, don't curl, don't move. I'm just, let me be bossy. Breathe in again.

Hold everything where it is and just breathe out. Sternum heavies, beautiful, ribs heavy. Now as you pause right there, put more energy in your arms from your belly. So it's like your belly is connected to your arms. One knee is gonna come up, carriage is not gonna roll.

Second leg is gonna be harder, gorgeous. Find a breath, inhale. Lower your arms but don't curl. Just exhale and send your arms out the windows. Lift your arms, breathe in.

Pause. Let your breath out, send your sternum down you are moving your arms down now with your center more than your arms. One more time, please, float the arms up, that's your inhale. Start the sternum, slide the ribs, press the hands at the end of the exhale, chin in, curl, reach the legs, beautiful. Pump your arms.


And exhale, good. I'm gonna give you a slight support right here. I want you to breathe in and right here under my fingers we're gonna drop, drop, drop. Pause the pumps today. Focus on the, yes, girl.

Exhale. Right now I'm gonna step away from her. Exhale, longer, three, four, five. Let the breath in without the pumps. Let the breath out and push your hands to me, letting the springs beneath you stretch farther.

Breathe in. Give me a little more, lower the arms, I believe in you. Yes, girl, one more breath, inhale. Keep reaching to me, exhale. All the breath for 10 nine eight seven six five four three two one, hold the hands, knees to chest.

Put your head down, arms lift up. Put your feet on the mat. Oh, that's not a mat, it's a bar, but you know. (laughs) You did great. Okay, that was beautiful. So what we found there was this really nice connection of her arms to her center, okay?

Lift and Lower

I don't know if you're gonna tell your client to stop the pumps or not, but I was with her, okay, and that's what we owe our clients. It's so important that we give them everything we've got and don't just become exercise counters and rep counters. You're better than that. Ready to move on? Yes.

We're gonna do feet in straps for leg circles. So push back, that's it, girl, just go, one foot in. We're still on two red springs right now. Okay. So lower your legs, you were perfect, go ahead and take 'em, yeah, out.

Alright, so I'm gonna have you take your feet to about right there. Alright, so again, because I do personal practice, I have this great cue. Mychele, just kind of gaze out, past your toes. Yeah, and just figure out where your toes are in relationship to something out there. That's where your legs are gonna return to every time so that you work with precision.

Here's another thought, because I believe in you, I want you to think of the stick being under your thighs again. So you're gonna press, so good. (laughs) so you're gonna press into the stick. Now the trick is, can you maybe keep your thighs on the stick and lift 'em over your legs? We're just gonna see what happens. Breathe in to prepare.

As you breathe out, begin to float your legs backwards and keep your eyes pressing to your stick, hold there. We'll lower the legs down, breathe in. Beautiful. Hold for a minute, can you get your thighs on your stick again? God, that's gorgeous.

Alright, ready, your legs are coming back, and you know what, just think stick your butt out. I hate to say it, but I'm gonna say it, ready? Your feet come back, yes, stick your butt out and move your feet there. That's it, that's it. Good.

And then lower. Okay, again, I'm right on top of her. She's only done two repetitions, I've gotta step away. Mychele, you look amazing, I'm gonna step away and see you from a different view. Go ahead and lift, exhale.

Inhale, lower. Good, think thighs on stick, yes. It's really fun. So, I'm observing this, I'm gonna go ahead and move up the body. So I come up, yes, okay, so you exhale now and as your feet come back, I want the sternum and the ribcage heavying down, beautiful.

Breathe in, press your thighs down. And again, trying to coordinate it all> legs come back, I know it's hard. And exhale. Start on heavies, ribs heavy. Press your legs down, that's the range I want.

Again. So neither of us are thinking about our weekend, okay? It's so important. Okay, you're doing an amazing job, do it again. Lift the feet.

Good. Press into your stick, lower down, okay. Alright, it's so cool, right? Alright, so just gonna do just three leg circles each way. So your first circle's gonna come back.

Leg Circles

I'm gonna look at her from behind now. Oh, I'm sorry, sweetie, come through the middle to knee. To be all the way, and then big ones. That's, oh, you know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna reel you in, ready, come back, and hold, there.

Open your legs, keep the carriage still. Press your legs forward, bring them together. Are you at that place? I am. Awesome, come back again.

Good. Open. Bring it in, I only want one more in that direction. So it would've been really easy for me just to let her go ahead and do those big yummy circles. She was doing them beautifully, but I needed to be the teacher and boss her. (laughs) So, you did a great job, we're gonna reverse 'em, will you start, I'm sorry, bring your legs together.

Bring your feet back so your feet are over your hips. This is where we're gonna start the reverse today. Press your legs down through the middle. Open only as wide as your reformer. Begin to bring your legs but think about your stick.

Oh. Oh. (laughs) And again, take it down. You open. From the backs of the thighs into the stick right away, yes. Open. Stick is active.

Mm-hm. Let's lower the legs. Let's Pilates V. Bend your knees, bring 'em into your chest. And I'm gonna tell her how beautiful she is.

Mychele, that was fantastic. Mm. (laughs) Awesome work, excellent concentration and focus. When you say excellent concentration and focus, it makes them realize that that was what was so helpful. So, I recommend really reinforcing how important that was to her getting the most out of that. Mychele, we're gonna go ahead, oh yes, rub your booty, it feels good. (laughs) So we're gonna move on now.

Let's take your feet out of the straps, just one foot at a time, reaching the foot to the foot bar. Good girl, that works. Stays there. You're beautiful. You can hook the straps on the holes.

Go ahead and come up now, we're gonna go into the long box series. So you can have, you're already having a seat. You can stand up. (laughs) So, we'll bring the box on. And I'm gonna lower this down just a wee bit for Mychele. And we're gonna go to one yellow, I'm sorry, we're going to one red spring on the reformer.


Lie down on your tummy. You're gonna put your hands on the bar for swan, Mychele. It's always helpful when you tell them where they're going. (laughs) Alright, so hands on top of the bar today. Mm-hm, okay. Took a step back, what am I seeing?

Maybe she's already doing a swan. So to get her, maybe, I can't promise you that's what's happening, but let's try this, Mychele, lower your head down please so that you're almost in a plank with your body in a way. So, relax your toesies, good. Can you soften your upper body a little more down, that's a girl, yeah. Now, in this position, I'm really happy with the position she's starting in, she's in a neutral, if you will.

And now straighten your elbows, please, just roll the carriage backwards, stay in that straight line, that's stunning. From there, start to send your shoulders back, begin to lift your gaze, chin comes up, gaze goes out, look at the beautiful ocean and retract your shoulders a little. And now lower yourself all the way down. Alright, bend your elbows, come all the way in. I'm sorry, we'll do it in the, yeah.

Alright, so go ahead and begin again. So, I'm really on top of her and I'm really happy with how she looks, but I know if I step away, I might see something else. That's a girl, go ahead and roll that carriage in. Good, bend the elbows to come in. Repeat it again, straighten your arms.

Beautiful. Send your shoulder blades back, start to float the head and the chest, the gaze goes out. Can you bring the box closer to me as you lift your body higher? Pause for a moment, a slight shift right now. Now send the carriage back again.

Oh, that's so great. Bend your elbows, return to the start position. We'll do it one more time. Push all the way back. Begin to send the shoulders back.

Start to float the gaze, roll the box to me as you move your shoulders back. I can't see everything, I'm gonna step away one more time. Lower down, lengthen back, release. Bend your elbows, come all the way in. Very good.

Go ahead and step to the floor. Great, that was really nice. Right, I'm gonna lower the bar down. The next thing you're gonna do is, if you're used to do pulling straps in T, I'm actually gonna do it a little bit differently today. So we're going to do a tricep extension to get started.

Tricep Extension

If you'll lie down on your stomach, please, facing, yes, facing that direction, you got it. Hold these little rubbery things. (laughs) I think that's the technical term for them. Mm-hm, yeah. So bend your elbows for me.

And the start position for this today is actually gonna be with your, you're gonna take your knuckles here, I want them to come down onto this mat. Okay, so just a little different. Remember how I mentioned that you were already swanning on that previous swan? Mm-hm. You're doing that here as well. (laughs) Yeah, so I love what your back is doing.

Let's allow your head to lower just like that. Okay, take your fists, keep them on the mat. Push them down into the mat, but think, push them forward to these little things. Now with that, use that as a tool, keep it there. You're just gonna hover there.

So go back to knuckles on the mat, mm-hm, think push down. Think push forward, but don't move anything. Now use that pressing forward as a tool to set your shoulders off your ears. You're doing Pilates, aren't you? Yes.

That's right, so we could just make this the exercise, but we won't today. Without swanning anymore, pull your elbows up into your sides. Yes, hold there. Take a breath and as you exhale, extend your arms back, sending the shoulders back like you did earlier, bend your elbows, return to right there. Before you begin the next one, I wonder if you can send your shoulders off your ears.

Beautiful, straighten your arms. Bend your arms. Pause, send them back, 'cause no matter how perfect you are, they're gonna move, do it again, extend them. Bend them. Reset, oh, we missed the reset, pause, reset.

Oh, chin down. Chin in, yes, reset, I believe in you, one more time. Extend. And bend. Fully release and relax.

Especially those beautiful legs. See, I could've been so obsessed with her shoulders, I wouldn't have seen the extreme fatigue that was happening in your legs. (laughs) Alright. Mychele, we're gonna add one more thing in to this. I'm gonna ask you to open your legs apart this time so you're not fighting that tremor so much. Okay, I'm just trying to be sweet.

Round Back

Thank you. You're welcome. Alright, so this next time. What'll happen is you're gonna go, imagine I'm laying on my stomach, okay? Straight, then we're gonna take it as a step two.

Extension, straight, and bend. So it's like a little four-step fun, okay? I know, oh, bless your little legs' heart. Okay? (laughs) So hold right there, before you begin, think, dig the knuckles down. As a result it sends the shoulders back.

Pick the elbows up and pause. Extend your arms, this is step one. Pause, step two is a little arch. Gorgeous. Step three is return to head down, body neutral.

Bend the elbows is step four. Pause, reset shoulders, you're giving me one more today. Extend the arms out. Go into extension, lift. Go back to straight body, pause.

Can you roll your springs more? Yes. Bend your elbows. And relax. Good.

I meant to say stretch your springs more, but I had such an intonation that she got it. I'm just lucky. (laughs) Hook the straps there. Good girl, you're gonna stand on the floor for me. Oh, that was beautiful. Why don't you take a second to catch your breath and maybe let your legs catch their breath.

Yeah, oh, I like it. (laughs) Yeah, so I almost feel sorry for your legs, like just a little bit. It's okay. You doing alright? Yeah. Okay.

Alright, so we're gonna go through short box next. I am going to bring the box over the poles. Let's have a seat, and I'm just gonna make sure that it's where I want you to be. I'll load up the springs to stabilize our carriage. Feet go under.

Alright, so I think that you have to be a little bit careful using the words, are you comfortable. Because it is my experience in Pilates that there's not a single thing we do in this room that's comfortable. So it's my instinct to say to her, are you comfortable on the box, that doesn't matter, I have to use my eyes to make sure that she's positioned on the box where I want her to be. So my observation with where I put her is that I just feel like she's a little too far in the front, just a little. So what I'm gonna do, it doesn't take a lot of time.

Mychele, will you stand up on the floor for me? You guys, time me at home, it doesn't take long. Have a seat again. I wanna see if I like this position better. Not is she comfortable, am I teaching her properly?

Oh, she likes it better. I like it better as well, that gives her a little more support so she doesn't feel like she's slipping down the box. Again, I took control, that's what's important. I'm gonna get you a bar. Hold that for me.

Hands in front of shoulders. Round your spine a little. I love it, that was really good. So what we know from earlier, she's rock solid on being a tucky butt, so we're not even gonna, we're just going with it, right? Here's the thing, though.

Because I know I'm not gonna need to address that that much, why don't I give her something else? Remember when we were laying on our back for 100? And I had you do the pull, yeah. You're already doing Pilates. Okay.

Okay. So, I'm also just gonna be a little friend here. My hands are going here, you breathe in. As you breathe out, press down into my hands and find that connection. Okay, I want you to do it again, just breathe in.

And now do it one more long exhale, or rather give me one more long exhale, but don't quite work so hard. Just almost make it so easy it's hard. Yeah, okay, let's do one more breath. And here we go, it's so easy. It's so easy that you feel it so deeply in the body.

Alright, sweet girl< go backwards, let the breath in. Tailbone moves under and you're just rolling back as if you're on the floor doing a roll up. Pause, come forward to me, let the breath out. Okay, do it again. I've given her so much to think about, I just need her to move a few times before I throw all that stuff at her.

You look amazing, do it again. Inhale rolls you back. Exhale brings you forward. I'm happy, I feel like she's working safely in her body. Do one more on your own, let the breath in.

And let the breath out. Maintain that great focus and concentration. I'm putting my hand here now. You're gonna push into me from your center. Go backwards, breathe in.

Pause, as if I'm pushing like crazy, exhale, and you push me away to come forward, get the connection you felt on that 100 beats. Soften through there, beautiful job. Two more only, take the breath, ooh, good. Inhale, good, that's it. Pause, push me away, pull, beautiful job.

Come forward. Take it back one more time, ready, inhale, move it back. Back, pause, can you do the sternum thing and the rib thing? Yes, and come forward. Sternum sternum sternum sternum, beautiful.

And relax for a minute. Chances are you feel like you're gonna fall off the front of the box. Yeah. (laughs) Yeah, so wiggle back, yeah, yeah. (Mychele laughs) Okay. Feel like you're up on top of the box, or do you feel like you're sliding? Good.

Flat Back

Okay, great. Take the bar in front of you. We're gonna prep for flat back. Let's walk your hands wider, please. Breathe in, prepare.

As you breathe out, lift your arms up. Good, beautiful. Alright, she looks amazing from the front. I'm gonna go check her out from the side. Do that again for me please, lower the bar, breathe in.

Breathe out and lift, good. Oh, she looks so good, so really, I was kind of expecting a tucky butt, but she, I know, it's so professional. Nobody knows what a posterior tilt is though. Quit saying that. Alright. (laughs) Okay, sorry, some people might know, I never knew.

Alright, so ready, let's lower the bar again, breathe in. Now as you keep this lift, Mychele, can you do the sternum rib thing at the same time? Don't sacrifice your, yes. Now lower the bar, breathe in. Alright, you're gonna give me this one more time and you're not gonna sacrifice this lift, but you're gonna give me the sternum rib thing.

Yes, breathe in, stay there. Breathe out and start to lean back, it only needs to be three inches today, hold. Let the breath in and come up. Do it again, exhale, do the ribcage and the sternum thing. Breathe in and come up.

Do it again. I'm sorry. (Mychele laughs) There you go. I'm in opposite. Oh, that's okay.

As long as you're breathing, that's all that matters. But you look amazing, take it back again, beautiful. Pause, do the ribcage and sternum thing first. Then lift. Do it one more time.

Length. Pause, sternum, ribs, but the head goes into the, oh, I like that, and come up. And relax. Oh, that was stunning. (laughs) Okay, we're just gonna do a little twist and curl. So you might need to wiggle a little bit.

Twist and Reach

Get yourself back on. I always tell them to wiggle. I do enough personal practice that I know in between each repetition of each thing on short box, I start to scooch forward. But I only know that because I do Pilates. We have to do Pilates. (laughs) Arms up.

I know that's easier said than done, by the way. Alright, I want the exact same feeling that you just had, yes. Find an inhale. Find an exhale, stay there and just send all of this stuff down without sacrificing your back. She lifted her eyebrows, that's what may happen.

Okay, ready, you're gonna twist towards the right, hold. From right there, can you start a tucky butt and just start to, yes, now continue backwards. Roll away from me. Bring yourself up. And center yourself.

Soften through the shoulders. When we go to this side, I'm gonna ask you to do more of a pelvic tilt than a flat back lean. So ready, twist towards these windows, breathe in. You hold right here. You're gonna start to move your bum under, that's right, keep the bar almost moving to those windows.

Yes, that's perfect, that's enough, now come up. Center. I didn't spend a ton of time fixing it, I just told her what to do. Twist to the other direction, breathe in. Pause, keep the stick where it is, start to move your tailbone, gorgeous, work.

Pause, bring it up. Rotate. That's it, she's gotta use that lift first. Now don't move the stick, mm-mm, come back up. I'm sorry, I'm being extra bossy.

Ready, twist to the windows. This doesn't move, your pelvis moves, baby, that's it, pelvis pelvis pelvis pelvis, hold, bring it up. Center yourself, relax. Beautiful job. I'll take your bar. Thank you.

Okay. We're gonna move on. If you'll stand up on the floor, I'll put the box away. And we'll go into long stretches next. Oh.

Long Stretch

Taking her down to two red springs for long stretch. I may change my mind about the spring. But that's because I'm teaching her and not giving her repetitions. So if you'll step over. Then you'll stand up for me today doing the hand-foot hand-foot thing, so we'll do left hand, right foot, right hand, left foot.

Beautiful. If I'm here, I can't see anything. So, Mychele, will you hold that position as I step away some? Give me a nice long breath in. As you breathe out, just hold there for me, please, try not to hang in your joints, easy elbows, easy wrists.

Place your knees down on the mat. Stand on the floor for me, please. Remember when we did footwork earlier, and I asked you to just barely take your heels and flex at the ankle? I want you to do that here. Go ahead and come back up onto the reformer.

Hand, foot, hand, foot. I'm gonna hold her carriage steady. She's gonna give me an inhale. Mychele, just stay where the carriage is and lower your heels downward two to three inches, right there. Breathe in again.

As you breathe out, maintain energy in all your joints. Do not hang in your elbows and I'm stepping out of the way. Move the carriage backwards, find an inhale to do it, pause. Come forward with an exhale, keeping your heels where they were, pause there please and lower your heels again, you rised up to a tippy toe, perfect. Ready, go back one more time.

Hold, keep your heels where they are and come forward, almost like you're pulling your toes underneath your ankles. Put your knees down and rest. Okay. That was lovely. Mm-hm, different.

Okay, good. So I was behind her, I really couldn't see what was happening in the front of her body, and we all know with long stretch, there's some room for error. And really, that's kind of like a safety thing. So I only had her do two repetitions. I'm gonna ask you to do it again.

I will give you the feedback, your heels are really going high to V toe, so I'm gonna ask you to try to keep that little heel lower, and I know it's not easy. I'm gonna actually support your carriage fully right now. Go ahead, okay, I love how your feet are. Now give me an inhale. As you exhale, give me the sternum rib thing.

Let that support your body, I'm letting go, you're in control, that's an inhale back, and that's an exhale to come forward. Rib, what is that thing, rib sternum. Do it again, I gotta step away and look at her. Inhale, take, oh my gosh, it's so pretty. Exhale, good, push out of your joints, don't hang in your elbows and wrists, one more repetition, inhale take it back.

Pause, watch your ankles. Yes, exhale, bring it forward. Front body, yes, knees down and rest. That was so good. (laughs) That was really, really nice. Different feeling.

Up Stretch

Good, good, I loved that. Okay, you're just gonna do up stretch next. I feel like, just, I don't know, you just have to watch this with your own clients, but that did seem a wee bit light for all of the cuing I was giving her, so I'm gonna sneak a yellow spring onto the reformer just to give her a little more support on this up stretch. 'Cause we all know up stretch brings you further forward and it's a little scary. And of course I know that because I do what?

Pilates. (laughs) If I don't Pilates, I don't always know, right? Okay, so I'm just gonna come around and hold her carriage stable. And she'll just pike right up, yeah. Okay, so I'm gonna boss her around.

Usually people wanna be flat back, that's a strategy. I'm gonna ask her to be a little more rounded today. So Mychele, breathe in for me. As you let your breath out, come forward over the bar two inches, hold there, please. Okay, split the difference, can you come back to me a little bit?

Beautiful. Find another inhale. And as the breath comes to you, exhale and do the rib sternum thing. Beautiful. I'm getting out of the way, it's your job to keep the carriage right where it is.

Amazing. Move the carriage backwards, let the breath in to get it there. Hold please. Let your breath out and lower your hips 1/4 of an inch, that's perfect. Come over the bar, letting the breath in.

Chin in, sternum rib thing. That's it, the breath facilitates the movement. We go again, breathe in, move it back. I'm bringing my hands to your heels, while you, oh. You okay? Uh-huh.

Ready, go to over the bar, breathe in, and I want you to dig in these heels, dig 'em, dig 'em, dig 'em. Curl inside to yourself, bring it up. Good, now Mychele, I'm gonna ask you to walk your feet forward just a little. Yeah, actually, I want the dig of the heels with the balls of the feet where they are. Can I just give you an assist really quick so you can almost chill for a second?

How you doing? Okay. Okay, alright. So, you do feel, so it's that same dig that you had in long stretch. Keep the dig and regroup your rounded upper body.

Can you shift your body over the bar one inch? And then round up a wee bit more. I'm getting out of the way, you're in control. Let the breath in, move the carriage back. Let the breath out, lower the hips 1/4 of an inch.

Come over the bar, letting the breath in, in. Dig your heels, drop your chin, float up, up, again, one more time today, inhale. Exhale, beautiful. Chin in, bring it up, up, up, and you rest. I've got you, come on down somehow or another.

Kneeling Side Arms

(Mychele sighs) Was really beautiful. Yes it was. I noticed there was a little sweat. (laughs) Am I sweating? (laughs) We're gonna move on now to the kneeling side arms. And I always feel like any kneeling or side movement exercise, teachers do not watch those exercises enough from the side. So what we're gonna do is play with looking at her from the front and then looking at her from the side.

You ready, baby? Yes. Yeah, this way first. Alright, so I'm just gonna hold her carriage still. She's gonna come forward.

You are sweaty, I love it. That's what you're here for, right, though? Yes, definitely. Alright, so you just kinda chill for a second and I'm going to change your spring, we're going to one red. And from home you have this beautiful front view.

I'm not gonna stand there, but we typically stand in front of our clients, and if there're people that just really love the side arm series, they're just gonna go and you might start talking about your weekend, I don't know, maybe you wouldn't, but pull the arm slightly higher please. Good, alright, in this position, breathe in. Breathe out and just hold, set the left shoulder down slightly. Pull the arm, inhale, across the body. Beautiful, exhale, bend the elbow.

Again, inhale, pull. And exhale, bring it across. Do it one more time like that. Pull. And bring it across.

Now pull. From the front, I cued her shoulders, I gave her all of that stuff that you see from the front of the body. I'm gonna watch her from the side, though, and see what I've got. Go ahead and do your pull. And exhale, bend.

What I can see when I'm looking at her from the side, pause, please. Sorry, baby, I'm trying not to kill you. What I can see, though, is we're getting a little elevation in the sternum and the ribs. So breathe in for me. And as you breathe out, keep the head moving through the ceiling, heavy the sternum, heavy the ribs, and now that spring feels 100 times heavier.

Bend your elbows, breathe in. Do one more time only, ready, sternum and ribs slip down as you pull, bring it across, and that was gorgeous. Wasn't that fun? Yeah. I keep feeding my clients answers today.

(Mychele laughs) Tell me it was fun. It was fun. Okay, your sweet little legs are shaking. Mm-hm. It's good.

We're gonna do the other side, just that one. We're not gonna do any more. (instructor laughs) Alright, here we go. Yep, yes. So why don't I go ahead on this side?

I'm gonna give her five repetitions instead of the six because she already knows what to do differently. Find an inhale please. With an exhale we're pulling today. Sternum, ribs, bring it across, let the breath in. Do it again, exhale.

Let the sternum help you lengthen higher, bring it, oh yeah, there went her eyebrows. Pull again. Lengthen, good, so she can lengthen without going into extension. Four. Beautiful.

I believe there's more, last and best. Sternum, ribs, exhale fully. You gotta breathe, breathe, breathe out, yes. Relax, beautiful job. You have to breathe.

Well, you know, it helps. It does help, I mean after all. Okay. We're moving on to semicircle next. I'm gonna come around and lower the foot bar down a little bit for her.

Semi Circle

As we all know, there's a million different ways to do semicircle. We're gonna use this strategy today. Mychele, lie down for me on your back. I'll take you into getting into the position, maybe different than you're used to, maybe not, but let's see what happens. When you lie down, bring the backs of your, what are those, knees, all the way over the bar.

So wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. Al the way over, yeah. Now, take your hands on the shoulder blocks. You have to lighten your back slightly, but you're just gonna push your arms straight. And slide it out from under your back.

Oh yeah, if you're sweaty, wiggle. I'm sweaty. (laughs) There you go, that's fantastic. Okay, so now, walk up, Pilates V stance with your feet, balls of the feet on the bar. Very nice. Do you care about the stopper?

You know what? I do care about the stopper. Thank you for mentioning it. I'm gonna bring the stopper in, so she has something to push against. Alright? Didn't care about it, but.

No, I'm really glad you say it, because I actually love the stopper, I prefer it with the stopper than not. When we did footwork earlier, I asked you to lower your heels a little bit. (Mychele laughs) I know this is hard, but keep your heels where they are and return your bum back to where it was, hips up, yes. Find an inhale. We start with the sternum.

Bum doesn't move, sternum moves. Backwards, move. She is going to go all the way down to those springs and hold. I believe in you, keep your bum on those springs and slide. Hold, hold there, please, your bum came off the springs, can you put it, thank you.

Use your strong arms and your strong legs to stay on that block. Breathe in. Breathe out, pull the hips up. Let that breath out from right here. Bend your knees, come all the way in.

Good, ready, first thing is sternum. Spine articulates, good. All the way to the springs, Mychele, and hold. Just slowly drag your bum, keep it low, keep it low, keep it low, stay there, I'm gonna be bossy. Big inhale.

First thing is a pelvic tilt. Roll, sternum is going to heavy as you get to the top, bend to come in, we reverse it. Slide it back, breathe in and find the block. Now don't move. Exhale from here, gorgeous.

Go all the way to the bum to the springs. Drag your bum, hold. Get back down there, yes. From a pelvic tilt. Deepen, yes, and bring that up.

Roll it back, you just have one more, it's so easy. Inhale, hold. Exhale, sternum, it's so easy that it just happens. Beautiful, drag, hold, first thing, here. Beautiful.

Mychele, wiggle. (laughs) And just come in to where you can get back there. Hug your knees into your chest. That was lovely. So all of the work that we've done up into this point has made it so that I can just say, do the sternum thing. It helps her not feel quite as overwhelmed with all of the cues I'm giving.


And it's like since I set it up in the beginning, I can just refer to it really simply. Not every client is as talented as Mychele is. So keep in mind, it doesn't always work, but you are doing a fantastic job. Feeling good? Mm-hm.

'Kay, you get to stay right there, maybe just get back all the way against the shoulder blocks. I'll bring the foot bar up again, we're going right into running. (laughs) Sorry. Alright, so she's on three red springs again. I'd like your feet to be about an inch apart.

I love how your heels are positioned a little bit low. (both laugh) I'd also like to bring your headrest down. Okay. So I took a second to get that quick little scan. You look amazing, I'm gonna ask you to take one more nice long breath.

And just let the breath out, ah. Remember the stick. Begin to straighten your legs so easy, thighs to stick. Begin to run. Lower one heel, and lift the other.

Good. I am so happy (laughs) with what this is looking like right now. From what we set up from the very beginning of the workout, Mychele, I wonder if you can kinda, what would your natural running look like? You don't know, she doesn't even know at this point. I don't know anymore.

That was a lot of pressure to put on you, go ahead and continue running. She's great, but she's getting that pressure down, which is taking that very natural super tuck she gives, it's lengthening it out, so look at all that beautiful length she has right here. I don't know this. Yeah, you don't know this feeling? I love that, good, welcome. (laughs) Welcome to neutral pelvis.

(instructor laughs) I live here now. Alright, so here we go, lift those heels up. Bend your knees, come all the way in. Good. We are gonna stand up and go right into standing splits.

So, come on up. I guess I don't need that there. Going into two reds and a blue, just a little extra support on these splits. I will cue her through the splits two different ways. So I'm going to do an accent out split and an accent in split.

Side Splits

Mychele, I'll stabilize your carriage. You come on up. Beautiful, beautiful. Yeah. Okay.

So, here I am being bossy again. Because I do personal practice and I know what little things can sneak in, want you to be almost awkwardly parallel with your feet. So when you look for parallel, look for the outside edge of the foot to be parallel instead of the ins, yeah, and it feels really awkward. I'm taking my foot away. You're in control.

Breathe and prepare. We're gonna roll the carriage out with an exhale. Press. Just stay right there, one, two, three, bring it in. Now if I"m watching her from straight on, she's amazing.

She's amazing no matter what. And bring it in. If you're watching her from the side, you're gonna see that we're losing, she's almost getting a little bit of an extension here. Yes. Alright, so let's use the breath to facilitate it though, okay?

So find an inhale. As you exhale and go out, let the sternum soften down the front ribs, reach down towards the pelvic bones, let the breath in, come in. Just want one more and I believe you've got longer exhale. Hold there, one, still exhale, two, still exhaling, three. Come all the way in.

That was beautiful. Okay, here's the mean one, I think this one's the mean one. So this is gonna be, pull it in, hold to the stopper, one two three. (instruct laughs) Hands are okay here? You ready, yeah, hands are okay there, yeah.

Would you like a gondola pole? No. Okay, alright, we're gonna let you just hang out like that. Alright, so I'm gonna take her down to, you ready for it, sister, I'm taking that spring off, alright. I've got her down now on a red and a blue.

Mychele, move the carriage out, let the breath in. Let the breath out, front ribs, sternum, you grow tall as your sternum heavies down and I see this long neck coming out. Do it again. Slide it out, we're using an inhale today. And as you come up, exhale, sternum heavies.

Let that length come from the back of, oh my gosh, that's so pretty. Ready, do it again. I'm gonna watch you from the side 'cause I really can't see. Exhale. She comes in, sternum, front ribs, there's length from the strength in the front of the body.

I'll take one more today only, take it out. Let all that breath go for 10, nine, eight, keep coming in, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. I was intentionally obnoxious. (Mychele laughs) But wasn't I right? Woo.

I mean, that was really fun. So, carefully come over. And we're, we gotta do the other, yeah, the other side, why not? That was really good, though, Mychele. Great feeling. Good.

Good, I'm glad that worked. Before you step up, let me fix your spring, okay? So I'll just-- I'm gonna go back. Yeah, we're gonna, yeah. Alright.

So you come on up. Yep. Mychele, this time, I believe in you. I'm giving you a lot of cues. I want you to try to take ownership of the sternum rib thing.

And I'm gonna cue your les and feet a little differently. Okay, so, when I give you more, you might lose some other, but that's okay. Yeah, I know, (laughs) exactly. Alright, I'm letting go of the carriage, you're the boss. Breathe in, prepare.

As you breathe out, roll it out. One, two, three, control it, and I see a totally different woman than started this workout. Do it again, exhale, press. Put more weight in your big toe, less weight in your little toe. There's your side heinie, come on in.

There it is. Yeah, girl. Take it out again, exhale. Sternum, big toes heavy. I know to cue her big toes 'cause I do Pilates.

Come in, breathe in. And do it again, take it out. Push into the inside edge of the foot. Stabilize from the hips. Let your breath out as you come in, my goodness, that's stunning.

Hold the carriage where it is, I'm taking the spring away. Roll the carriage out when the inhale comes to you. This time, you bring it in with an exhale. Use your right leg as much as your left leg. Go again, inhale.

The exhale takes you up with, oh my gosh, with this, see? Oh, this is so beautiful. And do it again. So she was able to do the ribcage thing, and now we see her neck and spine moving differently, my goodness, Mychele, that's beautiful. Let's come all the way in, and guess what, instead of big toe, give me little toe.

Stay this way, little toe down. Two more, take it out, let the breath in. I was easier on you the first time. Exhale, bring it In, little toes down, arches, lift, right leg as much as left leg, two, three, one more. Roll it out, let the breath in.

Exhale, bring it in, it's so easy. It's so easy. All the way, little toe like hold, two, three, and that was beautiful. Yeah. Yeah I know, shake. (Mychele laughs)

Carefully coming off of there. Step down to the floor. Wow, that cuing makes a world of difference. This is not a setup, folks, this is real. (laughs) Well what I hope is hearing Mychele say that will inspire you to watch my workshop. I'm really excited about sharing the information about you so that you can become greater than an exercise giver and an exercise counter and you can become the instructor that everybody wants to sign up for their classes.

Thanks for watching. Thanks for joining me. Thank you, woo. See you guys next time.


Corinna S
6 people like this.
Superb cueing! It was so inspiring! Thank you for your energy and for transferring your passion and love for pilates!
Carrie you are a brilliant and inspiring teacher! Thank you for providing the Pilates Anytime community with such clear teaching with an enthusiastic and positive vibe! The workshop that supports this class is sure to be incredible! We can't wait to film that soon.
3 people like this.
Carrie, this was awesome for everyone, both teachers and students. I love your cue "I wonder if you could..." Such a lovely way to ask students to do something that they have let go of a bit as they move.
2 people like this.
Your cueing was superb! The stick has changed my life with footwork- thank you!!!
4 people like this.
Carrie, you are #teachergoals for me!
Absolutely love the thighs to stick neutral spine connection! Using that with classes tomorrow. Lovely class.
Amazing class, thank you!
1 person likes this.
Brilliant, inspiring, wow you have such passion.
Thank you!
4 people like this.
Being a member of PAT for over 8 years, this is one of the rare sessions where I really got hints and tricks how to teach a client. It doesn't need to be the really difficult exercises. Observing the body, looking from different angles, layering cues. Loved it. Please more of that.
4 people like this.
I haven’t finished this wonderful video yet but felt the need to comment about how much I am enjoying this session! I soooo appreciate having the teacher cue on what they are seeing in the student in front of them and then explaining why! And we get to see it too! Great way to learn! Love, love this style of session on PAT. Thank you Carrie and PAT! And Carrie your personality is the sweetest ever! This is gold!
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