Well, hi everyone. Amy here. And we're reentering, we're transitioning back in to the studio as you can see. It's been several months since I've been in front of you this way. It's really good to be back. I'm grateful to be here with this energy around me.
Again, it feels really nice to be here. So I'm using this session, this reformer class to reenter. That's really what I wanted to do today. So refamiliarize and reenter into our relationship with our apparatus. Some of us haven't been on the equipment as much in the past three months.
So take this time for yourself. It won't be a fast, furious class. You can go deep, focus on what it feels like, and let's go ahead and get started. So I'm on footwork. I'm going three red.
You can do what you need to for your foot work. I'm going to start with that nice Pilates V position. So enjoy just settling in. I want you to feel your heels pull in firmly together and notice what that feels like in the connection into your legs, into your pelvis. Feel how nicely weighted your sacrum is, the back of the ribs, especially rib 12 and 11 here, the scapula and the back of your head.
We're getting back into the play of the springs and this machine, this riding motion here. Last two. Feel how those feet really press forward as you stand up away from that foot bar. And then we'll come in and go into that nice wrap of the arches. Inhale as we stretch, check that alignment, exhaling coming in.
And come all the way in, let's lift the feet and then place the heels on the foot bar. I am now spacing a little bit of space between knees and ankles. Heels are somewhat pulling down the foot bar as I push away and coming in. Notice, if you're biasing one heel more than the other. If you notice that, try to correct it and push both heels evenly, making sure that breath comes fully through the ribs.
Okay, so now to step closer together, take feet, centered on the bar, but again about the width of your sit bones, heels are moderately lifted. Let's go ahead and extend the carriage out. I want us to stand here for a moment and just stand. So connect your feet forward or down into the bar. Elongate up the other part of your top of your head.
Check, if you need to. Check your rib cage that you're not arching up through the back of the low rib. Let's take the last five just a little faster: four, three, two and one. Rebend your knees to come in. I like to go right back out.
It's been a while. So I'm gonna go with some pattern. Take one heel down for eight pulses. One, two, three. In between each lower, I try to come up to that high heel each time, seven and eight to the other side.
Two on each foot. How does this feel? Second foot. We'll repeat the twos. Down and press.
And down and press, 16 single alternating movements and two and three. So if you haven't been on the apparatus for a while, check in how is it feeling. Familiar? New? Fatiguing?
Last two. Remember to include that waistline, thinking that elongation. Here's our last one. Okay, yeah. Eight on the other side. So step to the bar, make sure you're in line with your pelvis and your hip.
Here we go, bending the knee, straightening the leg to the ceiling and bend and return. Sacrum stays heavy. So you'll probably be able to go past 90 degrees at your hip as long as you keep that pelvis really anchored. And four, we're working also to make sure that outer hip doesn't hike, feeling that stretch of our hamstrings, connection of the standing leg. Okay, last two and our last one.
And then where we'll be headed next is both feet on the foot bar. We can do heels parallel, take your headrest down everybody. And we'll go for some articulation of our spine. So I want you to take your hands by your sides, your arms by your side. And today is the day for external rotation of the upper arm, all the way down to the hand.
Okay, so two full. So you're gonna go a little bit higher up your spine or feel free to stay down low if that's where you need to stay, reconnecting to this, I'm gonna see what it feels like to go up even more mobilizing that mid, upper back, really contracting those deep hip extensors here, inhale and exhale, rolling down, bringing the chest down away from the chin, thinking of reaching my sit bones toward that foot bar and down, one more, inhale, rolling that spine, mobilizing that spine, sternum reaching up toward the chest here. Okay or the chin, now as you unroll the sternum away from the chin, sit bones toward the foot bar and all the way down. Okay, guys, we're gonna roll back up again. Roll, roll, roll, get those hips up.
Okay. Breathe in. We're not quite done. Roll back up to the bridge again and now, without moving the carriage, can you take one knee to table top and then step back down. Other side, tabletop and back down. Exhale. Well, reconnect into that challenge.
Smile a little bit. Roll down. Just check in. How did it feel? (exhales) Okay. And then let's come all the way up. I'm gonna change the spring now for hands in straps. I'm gonna do a red and blue on this one.
Let's just begin moving the arms down and up. Simple. Remember, we're reconnecting. Transitioning back into these movements. I'm gonna take two more exhaling (exhaling) and breathing in, lift and exhaling down and inhaling, lift.
Now five times without moving the carriage, open out to a T and then bring your arms back up. I want you to focus on even the hands are in the straps. The pressure of your palms is consistent or if it's not, try to correct it and work your best to get it consistent. And then on the next one, we'll leave those arms open and we'll bring our arms in toward our hips five times. The exhale will probably feel great to do as we pull in.
And that's our five circles in each direction. Okay, place your feet down on your foot bar. And then just for a moment, take your straps down, wiggle down away from the shoulder blocks a little bit, everybody. And put your hands on the shoulder rests and pull the shoulder rests out a little bit so that you actually activate more of the, think about activating the upper back but not grabbing the scapula together. And then let's bring the knees to tabletop.
And then come back to center and we'll go the other side. Remember, doesn't have to be big. You rock over to one hip. Both sit bones are reaching toward the foot bar side, inhaling to one hip and exhaling back to center. The waistline remains long, inhale to one and exhale to the other.
Let's take two more. Just one more each side. For two. Okay. Your last one.
Good. And then come back and place your feet for a moment on the bar. Wiggle in, if you need to. Grab the straps again. We should do some chest lift.
Trying to get up on the tips of the scapula and then lower ourself down, exhaling to come up. Around I think I'm rolling my ears forward a little bit. And then down, let's do three more for our five. And lower and press. Can you reach your arms a little longer?
Let's take one more. We'll stay up there this time. Curl, hold. Okay, I'm not feeling 100 but I am feeling some leg move in here. I'm just moving the legs.
So I want to hold the straps up on the tape. I've got my legs right through the headrest space and then just lift up into that beautiful sitting tall posture without a lot of tension anywhere. Let's just take a deep breath and expand the ribs and exhale and just roll that body back onto your sacrum. Some of your say the top of the sacrum closer to the lumbar. So you've got a little bit of ways to go there and you're just looking forward right down the runway at the ropes, breathing in.
And now as you deeply contract your tummy, let the ropes pull you forward a little bit. As you're going forward, keep the stomach pulling back away from the legs so that we get more of the lower lumbar, if we can. Mid-lumbar, upper-lumbar, inflection and then we'll restack. Let's do one more nice and slow. Again, reconnecting.
No need to hurry, rolling back. And checking that you're as even on your left half and your right half as possible. If not, try to make the adjustments which takes a second. Breathing in. That's why Pilates can be so corrective.
You get that time to really feel your way through. So I'm letting the ropes pull me, but I'm trying to hold back with my lower back and my lumbar. And I wanna make that lumbar lifted a little bit not such a small letter C, but a lifted letter C. And then restack. Two more, we can take these with a little more flow.
Inhaling and letting the ropes do some of the work, that spring below the reformer doing some work. And I'm resisting that spring. And I've gotta resist by lifting my back into a flexion shape and one more. Exhale. (exhales) Breathing in and breathing out. Hold back with the abdominals, hold back with the lumbar, lift and flex that spine, lift and flex.
And then let's restack all the way to sitting tall. Okay, crossing your legs. A pretty good series here. I want you to take your hands and your straps. And once again, let's make some fists in there.
Now you don't have to go that far to feel this exercise, depending on your spring. I'm only going five reps. Gonna exhale and open the elbows. I'm doing what I can not to thrust my ribs forward or elevate my shoulders. Try to press your knees down a bit and last one.
And then take your arms down. Palms face back five, straight arm presses with your palms this way. And then we'll do five with the palms facing the other way which is somewhat different. Lift up through that chest. And five.
So we've got two more reps. And press. Okay, I'd like to come up on the knees, facing the back of the reformer. So find a way up that works for you. Chariot, I love this exercise.
Keep the fist behind the body. Sit downs so you have to flex at your hips. You're trying to get your sit bones just to the heels. Come right back up. This is really about the butt and the hamstrings, pushing that pelvis forward or pressing it, return the arms.
Five times, pull and almost touch the heels, lift right back up, press your pelvis toward the ropes and then return. Three, monitor the height of those shoulders. They may wanna start sneaking up. Our job is to keep them down. We've got two more, doing the best we can to keep those arms behind us as we sit.
Lifting tall, return. Last one, press. And sit and lift. And forward. And just take a pause for a moment everybody.
Alright, so let's keep moving. I want to now have us turn around to the front. So if you were on a red spring for all of that, like I was, change it down to a blue now. And if you were on blue that whole time, great also. I just know for myself, facing this way for what's coming, I need a little lighter spring.
I have a little sense of adducting through my upper leg too. And then what I'd like to do is start with the arms in front of us about shoulder height. Feel the palms. You've even connection in the palms and the hands. From here, contract those abdominals and resist the spring.
I don't want it just to pop you down. I want you to work on trying to get your back round, especially the lower back. Now, as we come back up, I'm thinking heels, push back first, hamstrings, glutes contracting. My lats are working, Coming up, if you can raise your arms higher, it does feel pretty nice. And then come back down.
It's a contraction. Again, it's not a compressed flexion of your spine. You're trying to resist that spring and round your lumbar. And again, heels press, hamstrings contract. I'm tracking where I'm going with my eyes.
I'm looking forward and a little up to where the wall and the ceiling meet. And then coming down. Okay. We can do three more, little bit more pace. And down, last two. And find some breath that supports you. (inhale) Inhale, exhale, contract to come down.
Last time, guys. We're staying up, this next one. Gonna stay up. We're gonna stay up and flip our hands. We'll do our salute, five repetitions, one.
Here we go. Inhaling, open. Exhale, close. And open like you're gathering the air in front of you, last two, (exhales) reconnecting to the strength in your upper body. Yes. From here, just settle on down.
Wonderful. Let's set these down. Come off our knees and let's get into the hips though a little bit more. So I'd like to do two red springs for myself, for feet and straps. You can take your foot bar down or two middle springs, two medium springs and let's keep the head rest down. That's fine. Oops.
Stick your feet at the same time, rather than push one foot on the foot bar. Yes. Hello, frog. Just settle into frog for a moment. (exhales) Feels good. Inhale, legs, extend.
Exhale and flex. Let's see if we could pull the heels closer to the groin, even if you unweight your sacrum a little bit, that's okay. Inhale. Extend. We need that little sacral lift anyway, just momentarily for short spine. So try it there.
I'm doing that little sacral lift and unweighting because I've got a good, strong abdominal connection pulling that up. Ready? Heels in, sacrum up. Last time and then we'll take legs circles. And lift, start your leg circles with your legs right out in front of you in parallel. Okay, I need just to come up to 90 degrees for just a moment.
So you wanna have the pressure even right in the arches of the feet or the strap connection, what that feels like. If you feel like one is more firm, correct it the best you can. Here we go. Often my cues out loud or my self cues. So most times that helps you too.
Okay, guys, that was five. We've got five the other way. But before we do, take your legs apart without moving the carriage and bring your legs back together without moving the carriage. Four more, apart. Together.
And open and down together and up. Three more. And we are definitely on our way to short spine. Okay, last one. And we're gonna start right from here, legs.
Inhale into a frog. Here are the heels to the groin. Pull more, actually pull those heels to the groin. Leave your feet there, rolling down to the base of the ribs. And then carry on.
We'll do three more now with a little more flow. Don't leave out those details though. All those details. We've had so much time to ourselves in the last three months. Let's not forget that luxury, especially when we're in motion with our body.
We don't have to go fast. Sometimes it's better to go slow. Okay. (inhales then exhales) Two more. And the rolling down, I realized I was really luxuriating in those thoughts and taking my time. Let's take one more time, all the way through and peeling up.
Lift, lift, lift. Okay, frog, inhale and exhale. Come all the way down everybody. Once you're down in your frog, let's just take our legs, gonna push forward into the straps. I'm gonna use my hands on these ropes.
Take your straps off your feet the same time. We'll hook those up. Let's come on up and we'll get a box up on the reformer. Again, you get to choose your springs, either a light or a medium. Not gonna tell you what I chose.
Grab a hold on the wrap. Let your heads come down. Nipple line or also the armpit right on the corner of the box. Take a moment. Reconnect, lift your stomach up off of the box as much as you can.
Connect the shoulders and let start that pulling straps. Now I don't want us to come so high that we lift off the base of the ribs. So I'm just gonna come right to there for myself on this first one and lower down. See if we can really continue to rise up in the navel (chuckles) and lift. And again, stomach in, scapula down, chest is reaching for the back of the reformer.
You don't have to lift your legs too high. Just one more for our fifth one. I'm gonna stay there and do five little tricep bends. One, and extend. Can you pull your navel up off the box a little bit?
So ideally, the head is in line with the spine, trying to get that nice sense of external rotation again up in the upper back and shoulders. Last two, you can lower your legs but try to lift that navel up and one more time, oh boy, and then all the way down. That's all I wanted to do on the box. Lucky us. We're bringing that box away.
We've done a lot to get that lumbar flexion. So let's feel that. We are in some thoracic flexion, but not only there. So here we go. Grip that bar, feel how it feels to hold that bar.
Support that and inhale and exhale. The hand position should feel solid, safe. Heels, against the pads. Lift that stomach, keep your lumbar back if you can. Here is seven, eight, nine and 10.
And then into flat back. So sit back a little bit. Scapula on our back. Here we go. And we press.
Okay, five hip extension, just unfolding that pike position. Again, the contact of each hand is the same. Here's four, and then we'll stay out on number five. From here, lower the hips, lift the chest. You're rising up into a plank line and then refold at the hips to bring the springs all the way closed.
(exhales) Two more. Lift that chest, roll the collarbone back. And in. Okay guys, one more. That's it. Hold, oh boy and come on down.
Okay, oh boy. I'm gonna take my springs down by one. So just one red spring. Foot bar down. Let's do some lateral hip.
Oh, yeah. And closed. We can also add the arm lift and press, just five times. Your ankles are doing a little bit of glide, medial lateral, not a lot. Okay. Last one.
Please do, we're right here. Pitch forward at your hips. Place your hands down on that railing of the reformer and pause for just a second. Can you bend your elbows to come a little bit lower which will stretch those hamstrings and see if you can do that with more of an extended upper back rather than flexed. And straighten.
Yes, four more, arms moving up and arms pressing down. Nice solid feet. Making sure to open those sit bones. No grip there. And then our last one.
Okay. Now it's up to you. You can go ahead and tip forward and do that. I'm gonna do that with you and you're walking your hands on the frame and you're just holding that carriage open and bending those elbows to come a little lower and straighten. So a few goals, try to keep the carriage still and keep that upper back in extension. We did three of those.
Let the arch of your back be the arch of your back. I don't want you to over-correct it by tucking or overarching. Just let it be. Just move. Just feel what this is.
The goal here is to get that hip open. If you wanna let go, you don't have to hold the foot bar, just three to four times. It should feel pretty nice. I'm gonna say four. This is four, and we're gonna hold it there and then maybe just do a soft circle of your arms and then we'll bring the carriage in and go to the other side.