Class #4233

Reformer on the Mat

50 min - Class


If you've been missing working on the Reformer, Kristi Cooper has the perfect Mat class for you! She takes many exercises from the Reformer to the Mat so that you can mimic that same feeling of length and connection. Enjoy doing adapted versions of exercises such as standing Footwork, Short Spine, Long Stretch, and more!
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Sep 24, 2020
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Hey, everybody. Welcome to Garage Sessions. My name's Kristi and I was not busy over our live break. This is not my garage anymore, or at least not for today. I took us out of the garage.

We're in my dining room now, and we are gonna do some reformer on the mat. Thank you for being here and trying to have a little fun with this. I won't do obviously the entire repertoire in 45 or 50 minutes, but I'm just gonna ask you to kind of think about if you have been on a reformer and miss it, because you're at home and not using yours in the studio, or if you don't get to be with your teacher, this is really just to give you some more fun, some more to think about. Some of the exercises will be completely different. Meaning foot leg work in some cases, will be all abs now, but anyway, have some fun with it.

Welcome into my house, this time. Let's get started. Standing with your feet parallel, or in first position. I'm gonna roll down here in a moment. So just take a moment to breathe in, to be glad that you came, or that you're doing something for yourself, exhale and just ah, let it go.

Let the tension go. We know that the freer we are of tension, the more efficient we're gonna move. So, let's take the arms up this time, inhale. Then just stack your bones. So you feel you're right over yourself.

You're in support of yourself. Exhale, let it go. Again, inhale (inhales). You can really stretch, and exhale. It's morning for me.

I love mornings, especially when I'm not in a garage (laughs). But, I need a little bit of warm up. I'm doing one more and we'll do a roll down with that. So inhale. Exhale, let the arms come down, as your head grows toward the ceiling, then reaches forward toward the floor.

You round over. Feel free to bend your knees, but we're just checking in, as usual and inhale. I'm gonna bend mine a little bit. As I exhale, I think heavy through the tailbone and drawing up on the belly, to roll back up. This is pretty much how I start all my classes.

Inhale, rise up. Reformer, one to chair, whatever I do, or the whole system. Exhale, rolling down. Checking yourself out. What's happening.

Is one knee bent more than the other? Inhale, exhale and maybe you can think about the belly going up first. Head being heavier, 'cause now it's a little more supported, as it provides its own traction or stretch. The last one, inhale. Exhale.

Growing taller first, then you let the crown of the head go forward. The arms are basically hanging, but still on your body. Another words, you don't drop the shoulders forward. Stay down here on this one. Everybody bend your knees towards your forehead, take your spine with you.

Exhale and straighten the legs, or go towards that direction. Bend again. Straighten (exhales). And bend. As straight as you're gonna be, when you roll up here, it is inhale.

Exhale, draw the belly and find the back of the legs. Start to find the back of your body. Always supporting from the other side. Woo! Let's begin. So we're gonna do some foot and leg work.

I come from the school of BASI, which we have about five foot positions. So we'll do this one standing today, okay? Then we'll get on the floor and do a slightly different version of it. So for this, again, you're parallel. A little bit more weight into your heels, so it might pitch you forward a bit.

That's cool, okay? So all we're doing, is we're gonna sit back. I'm going a little bit slow for now, so you can check out your feet. Are you rolling out? What are your knees doing?

Hopefully straight over the second toeish. Stand back up. When I stand up, feel that imaginary reformer, yeah, reformer mat. Like press into it. Not behind it, into it.

Here we go. Inhale down and breath up. Two. This is your warm up, right? And four.

And tall. Think about the spine. You're hinging at the hips. (exhales) We're just gonna do some more. Down to go up.

Evenly distributed. You're your own teacher, you know that. Stay up. Ever so slightly, you can either just shift your weight toward the ball of the foot. You could even float the heels.

I'm just gonna shift, so my heels almost come up. Same exercise. We go down. So now the weight is a little more forward. You either have to shift further back, most likely, or you won't go as low, that's okay.

Just keep your alignment. (exhales) Find that imaginary mass and you get all the way back up. Squeeze! Ah! I am gonna bring it into the mic, so you might wanna turn it down a little bit. You know what you're doing here. A couple more.

Voila! Next position is that first position or Pilates V. It's not real big, okay? A subtle lift of the heel again, same thing. You might as well think of pushing the arms up, as if through solid and then come back down. Keeping the heels up as best I can and keeping them together as best I can.

So let's go, whoa! And up. Balance first thing in the morning. Good for me. Reach and again, if you have to pitch forward a little bit. I don't have a bar that's higher than me, right?

So that makes sense to me. I need the glutes finding the back of the body. Up. (exhales) How about one more here? Here it comes down and up.

Voila! The second, so next two positions, are almost the same. Let's go heels wide, turned out. Hands behind your head, 'cause this one, it's a little different than it would be on the reformer, but try not to pitch forward on this one. So now, it's just a slide down. If your feet are too close, they'll have to come up.

So make it so there's more weight in the heel. It'll be wider. (exhales) Down and up. Hmm! Getting the blood going. Whatever time of day it is for you.

I'm working both directions, just like you would. Imagine the springs, you're resisting springs, both directions. A couple more here. Now again, you don't have to lift the heels. If you want to bring them in, your feet a tiny bit in.

More weight towards the ball of the foot. Hover the heels barely, or keep them down, just do another set. And up. (exhales) You can have your arms out, whatever you need. Down and up, try not to roll around on your feet.

You have to a little, right? That's how you keep the balance. But try not to do the thing you do normally. Even it out, maybe? I'm doing one more.

(exhales) Yes, leave your feet down. Walk them in. Let's go completely together today. So that to me, is not just the touch. The feet touch as best they can.

But keep them parallel. So if you have to have your heels apart, that's cool. If you can, ankle bones together, knees together, upper inner thigh together. That sense of wrapping around, so you feel the back of your body. Arms, just down, rise up on the toes.

And lower. Rise up. And lower. And rise up. You could also have your feet apart (laughs).

Not necessarily easier, but I'm gonna give it a shot. Yeah, it's gonna be better for me today. Try not to waiver in the body. That's what I was doing. So now I'm reminding myself to connect to the front, the back and that includes my abs, even though I'm clearly focused on the calves and the popping in my foot.

Up. Oh! I don't have to worry about black widows anymore (laughs), or at least today. This is great. How about one more time? Right, okay.

We're gonna go to the floor and do some foot and leg work again. So just take yourself down. I'm gonna grab a sip of water. Lying on your back. Before we get right into the next round of footwork, let's just warm up that spine a tiny bit more, okay?

So your collarbones are wide. There is that reformer mat. You're pressing the whole arm into. Feet slightly apart. Exhale, roll up, pelvic curl.

(exhales) Reaching the knees out and over, connecting to the back of the legs and exhale, roll down. Again, I'm doing a two-breath cycle. Do whatever you want, but just try and articulate, rounding to the spine, without throwing the shoulders forward and exhale down. A few more. (exhales) Inhale.

Stay here. Try to tuck more, to me that in this case, means pubic bone more towards the sternum. So a little more while you're here. Knees didn't change hopefully. Step into your feet more.

Do you feel the back of your legs and bum, a little bit more? Inhale, exhale, roll down. Kind of hang on to that. So the last moment there and set it down again. Exhaling up, up.

Up. Do that little additional tuck, if you don't feel like your back, your legs and glutes are involved. Inhale and exhale. Down. Right.

Here we go. Slide the hands to the T. Bring both knees up. Zip them up. Come towards the front, or towards the plant.

Inhale, just rotate over. Just get a little bit more for the spine, before we get going, even further. Bring it back to center. Reach those arms over to the other side the knees go. Start the exhale, feel from the middle of the body, to bring it back.

Again, now kind of easy. You're like, "Right, I got this. I know we're gonna work. So I better be ready. She's so kind to get us all heated up and then do this." Yes, yes.

Your welcome. Over. Reach, reach, reach. You can go as far as you want, but let's make the marker that you keep both shoulders on the floor. Over.

And back, one more. Over. And back. All right, I'm just gonna adjust myself. Slide the hands behind your head.

Lace those fingers together. We inhale. We're coming in just to chest lift and we're gonna hang out there. Exhale, curl up. So what are we doing?

We're looking, I don't know, somewhere near knees or maybe mid-thigh. Take a moment and press your head back into your hands, but try not to lose any height. Heels are together, toes are apart, the knees come apart. Draw the knees in right towards your shoulder and let's leave the tailbone down. From there, we're in that first foot position, we press out.

You can go high and pull in. Press out and pull in. Press out to pull in. It's almost like you have something on the bottom of your feet. You push it away.

Then you pull it back. Not a lot of stress in the feet, but there you go. A couple more here out and pull. Keep your upper body up. Now last one, come in.

Zip up the knees. Flex the feet and press out. Pull it in. When you pull in, see the toes above your knee. In, push out.

Pull in, deepen that contraction in the belly, so it's not just that they have to, drag the legs in as if they're connected at your chest. Press one more time. Here it comes. Stay in. Just wrap the feet around that imaginary bar.

Go again, push, pull. Push, pull. Push and pull. Keep it going. You thought we were done, but we are not.

Stay out there. Raise the legs a little. Flex, point, flex, stay up. Point, flex, point, flex. Hold the point.

Flex one foot, switch. Switch, switch, switch, switch, parallel if you can. Switch, go, go, go, go. Bend both knees in. Hug them, head down.

Shake off whatever you need to. Reach the legs down. They're over that foot bar, theoretically, right? Arms, we're gonna take them all the way back, for today. Reach long, so the ribs actually to start to come up, or you arch your back a little and then make like this heavier weight.

Press that down. The arms will come forward. Look for, leave the legs down for now. Pumping the arms. Push the legs into the ground.

And two, three, four, five, out. In and out. Keep going towards those legs. Three, two, three, four, five, out. Four, two, three, four, out.

And hold, reach further into it. Further into it, like you're gonna really get up. Take yourself all the way back. Go ahead and let that arch happen. Put the big, heavy weight right in the middle, so the arms kind of pop up a little.

Recurl forward again, but this time, lift your right leg, just a little bit. Inhale two, three, four, five, out. In and out, one more. Out (exhales) and reach long. Hold it.

Set it down. Reach back. I know we're gonna get to 110, or something like that. That's all right. From here, press the weight down, arms come forward.

Left leg, get ready for it already. We go in and out. And in and out. In and out. That's it, hold it.

Reach, reach. Soften the leg, reach, reach forward. Put it down. Arms reach back. Take that stretch and arms come down around by your side.

Heading into spine stretch. So, it turns out you don't need straps for it. Although it will be ever so slightly different, if you're used to it, in sort of a traditional way. Here we do. You draw the belly in, if you can.

Pick up both legs to 90 for now. The way we're gonna do this, is to hinge the legs over. It's pretty much as far as you can for now. So here we go. Exhale and pull those legs, you pull those, pull.

Then from here, you go directly on a straight line diagonal. Go for it. Exhale. So you're not in a full rollover, right? You're up on a bit of a diagonal.

Pull the knees towards your shoulders. If you don't know it, you should be watching this from an upright position. From here, you roll the body down. Bring those thighs closer to you, as you go. Get the bum down.

Flex your feet and come back to a frog position. Here we go, again. Adjust your shoulders. You push out on that diagonal. You draw the legs in, as far as you can.

Then you go up (exhales), on that diagonal. Pull the knees toward the shoulders. Melt down from the throat. Keep those feet right above your face. Then when you get down, flex your feet.

Draw the legs over. Again, press out. Hinge. You have to use your arms. I know that.

But use your abs too (exhales). Diagonal line. Bend the knees. Exhale, roll it down. Roll it down.

Roll it down, you could separate out the knees a little bit. Don't get crazy, if you're flexible. Flex feet and over. Last two. Reach.

Fold. Up. Inhale, bend. From the throat now. It's like your feet are in straps.

You're going down, long. Down, long. Once your tailbone's down or at least sacrum, flex feet. Bring it all back. Last one.

Out, come up and over. Exhale up. Sorry to yell. I needed it (laughs). Bend and roll down.

Down, down, down. Knees stay bent. Curl head, neck and shoulders up. Bend the elbow and we're going into coordination. We press out, hold.

Legs open, close, open, close. Drag them back in. Fold the arms. Pretend the straps. The only reason I'm doing that part, is so that I actually push the air, like it's solid.

Here we go. It's (sputters) and exhale, fold. Inhale, press. Open, close, bend. Fold elbows.

Inhale, open, close, bend! Next one, we stay out there and we cross six times. One, two, three, four, five, six, bend. Bend elbows. Press out. Last one.

One, two, three, four, five, six, bend and rest. Hug the knees to your chest. Whew! I miss my reformer (laughs). I need a little spring action. Speaking of that, let's just hold on to the knees.

Let them be a little bit apart, but the feet are together. Head comes up. Create that deep curve of the body. Try not to kick the legs. Let's exhale until you're rolling like a ball.

Whew! You could do this on a reformer. Little scary. You gotta be right in between those shoulder rest. But anyway, here we are, a couple more. One more after this.

Nice, smooth ride. Here we are. Sort of upright again. Let's go into a little bit of a stretch, before we continue on. I'm just gonna swing round and come to my knees.

Let's take one leg forward. I'm gonna say left leg forward. So you might need a little towel, or something for your knee, or you might need to just adjust it, so you're not right on the kneecap. What I'm aiming for here, is the sense of, again, tucking the pelvis. It's like a bias towards that, even though it's gonna look like I'm not.

So I start there. Little tuck. Hands somewhere comfy. Then, allowing myself to go forward. If the forward foot isn't out far enough, just move it.

Another words, it should, this is really helpful for you. Ah, aiming for that stretch on the opposite hip flexor. Maybe even stretch up through the belly, depending. But you're proud. You're just hanging out for the stretch.

Mmm! Yeah. My favorite part. Kidding. Put your hands down, on either side of the foot. I'm gonna start to shift my hips backwards.

I'm not so concerned about your toes. You're gonna come up in a minute anyway, but take a second and feel for a flat back, before you go any further, okay? So it's really tempting just to round here, but don't. Find the flat back. You can touch yourself, if you're not sure.

Then continue heading towards a straight leg. But with that flat back, you can move your arms. You'll see, I'm not gonna go to straight, 'cause I can't, without rounding my back. If I don't round my back, no matter where I land, if I do my best to keep my hips square, I have a pretty decent hamstring stretch. Let's go forward again.

Again, you might have to lift off the knee, to roll over it. Find that posteriors, now come up, if you can. Hands to knees, or overhead. To get a tiny bit more, you could put one hand down, whatever you need. Just looking for the stretch.

Take a deep breath and then exhale, shift your weight. You can go right into this, now that you know what you're doing there. Flat back. Try not to let the foot roll in or out, or what its normal tendency is. Try to keep it pretty level.

Challenge yourself. Then let's change sides. Other foot forward. You're doing that posterior tuck, right, I should just bring the water over (laughs). Posterior tuck.

Start to drop your legs forward. And by legs, I meant hip. All right. If you can come up, do. (exhales) For once I saved the more friendly side, for a second.

I should do that more often. 'Cause now I'm happy to go into the next one (laughs). All right. Here it is, same deal. Hands.

I did check this every time, because you never know. I'm looking for my flat back. I kind of feel it, 'cause I already have a stretch. Then if I think I can go further, I do. Then I square off my hips again.

I'm like, all right, maybe not fully straight yet today. For those of you who are really flexible, same thing. Like you just move your legs hard, but still you're working toward that flat back. I think it's an active situation. All right, come forward.

We have to do again. We get to do it again. Same deal, if you wanna take your arms up, do. I do focus a little on that back leg. I like to give the tips I'm doing.

My shin is kind of in the ground, almost like I could stand up. So I'm not just hanging out. (exhales) That'll be the day. Okay, you can shift it back right away. Adjust the foot.

Whatever you need to do to find that nice, long stretch. Yeah. Okie dokie, I just said that. All right, so now you're on your knees and if you can, tuck your toes, so you could push off of them and then your hand you'll be, we're going into a sort of a knee stretch. I think it's actually harder than it is on the reformer.

But if your hands are normal quadrant-PED position, most likely you're gonna have to pull your hands back. Okay, psyching myself up here. Round your spine, so it's like you're almost sitting on your heels. Shift, like push into your toes. Squeeze the glutes, so you're very rounded here and you're about to hover your knees.

That's it, it's like not a big deal, right? Shift back. Get ready to bear your weight on your arms. From the belly you exhale, lift up, look down. Look at your belly.

Hover and hold the legs. That's it, for now. Hold it. Deep in the belly. Can you round anymore?

Then just set your knees down. Flatten your back out. Inhale. Start the exhale. You might have to push it a little bit, like the floor away from you.

Round the back. Hover the knees, don't get too high. Are you still rounded? Did you pike? Round, round, round.

Set it down. Flatten it out. You can even exaggerate the arch. So you know the difference right, in your mind's eye, when you're up. Start the exhale.

Feel the belly draw in. Spine rounds. You hover. Hover. Hover.

Set it down. Whole body effort here. I'm inching my hands back a little bit, 'cause I know it's coming and my arms are super long. So there's that. Round, look towards your belly or thighs.

Thighs kind of works for me. Hover the knees. Point one foot, so it hovers. Oh my goodness. Draw it closer to your nose.

Take it away a little. Draw closer to your nose. Take it away a little. One more. Closer to your nose.

Take it back to the ground and whole body down. Flexing, extend your spine. Yes, we are doing it again. I hope you remember the leg you were on. Draw belly up.

From here, hover. Both knees. You can stay there if you want. Otherwise, other foot just points. You're off the ground, right?

Nothing changed and bring it closer to your nose. Send it back. Closer to your nose. You can make this bigger if you want. Back, don't change your spine.

Last one. Back, toe down, lower down. Stretch your body back. You can release the toes and rest. Right.

From there, your arms are nice and long. Nice and straight. This might work. Shift yourself forward, over them. Tuck your toes again.

Lift up to what we call up upstretch one, or pyramid, or down dog, something like that. Heels can even be up part way. Just reaching. Reaching back. From here, we're going into upstretch two, which is from this position.

You simply come into a plank. If you're way out over your hands, just move your feet back for this one. Shouldn't have to adjust again. Pull the belly in, like your hands and feet are just stuck, but all the work comes from the center, to go back. Just leave your heels slightly up, but now let's try to keep them that way.

Another words, they shouldn't move. Come forward. Hinge to the plank. Exhale, up (exhales). Inhale plank.

Exhale, belly. Do it from the belly. It's not so much arms. I just caught myself moving my heels around, so I'm gonna try harder on these next two, to not move them at all (exhales). The way I'm doing it, I do try for a flat back, rather than rolling into it.

It's more of a hinge. In this one. Okay, go forward. Stay forward. Long stretch.

From here, you point the toes. Go forward, then it's like you're pushing down and forward with the hands, to flex and move back. Press forward. Push and move back. Press forward.

If you had socks on, or a towel, which we could do next time, we could actually slide. But I'm not going there today after all. (exhales) Forward. Oh! The leaf blower, of course. Up we go.

Up we go. I'll shut the doors in just a second. Up we go. I hope they're cutting that one tree (laughs), that needs a little trimming. All right, give me one second.

Go ahead and go to your knees and into a rest position. (blower blowing) I was worried about the dog (laughs). I hope this helps. I actually stopped, that doesn't count (laughs). All right, you're in your rest position.

We're gonna just come up to kneeling for a second. From here, shoulders right over knees. You're doing that posterior tuck situation again, right? So you already wanna feel the back of your legs. Then from here, just you're gonna have to use a little bit of imagination.

We could do it with weights, but even then, we're just, you can do it without. So without leaning forward to back, you press back, back, back, almost to push you forward. From there, look over your right shoulder. Look over your left shoulder. Come back to center.

Inhale, just reach the arms forward and go all the way up to shoulder height. Imaginary solid. Press down, rise up. Get those arms back there and right close to your body. Look one way.

Look the other way. Center and come back. If you can remember to alternate, please do. I tend to not remember. Press down, get taller.

Almost lean forward to the point of falling over. Look one way, the other way. Full stretch of that neck and bring it back up. Press, press, press! Hug the arms closer. Look.

Look. Center. Last one. Press, press, press. Look.

Look. Center. From there, we're gonna just open the arms up, open wide and by wide, I mean just it's like I know my arms stop where they do, but there's a sense of almost letting go. If I tighten too much, it draws them in. But if I let go, I can reach further and really feel almost a neural stretch, in my case.

From that place, arms are almost straight. Just hug the tree or the block, I sometimes say. I wanna feel the pecks a little, at the end of this. Just that they're engaged, not tired. But like there I am.

I'm still almost about to fall over. If your feet keep coming up, You're probably in a good position. (exhales) Check yourself. Can you lean anymore? (exhales) Imagine that sometimes it's the mind that creates the resistance.

Oh, I gotta listen to that one later. In my head (laughs), when I'm working. Last time. Here it is. Then from there, let's just open wide.

Take your arm straight up overhead. I'm just gonna clasp them together, almost fist-like. Hug the elbows in right close, as close as you can. Nice stretch for the lats at the very least and try to reach them down your back. Then again, if you had a big weight and if you could hug your, what is that your face, with your biceps?

Try for that. I know that sounds silly, but for some of us, me, it's not always easy, when you have tight lats, large lats, whatever. So just aim it so that the tricep faces front. (exhales) Then yeah, whatever resistance. Try not to let the elbows get too far in front of you, if at all.

Yes, reach. Reach and reach and voila, let it go. Okay, we're doing a little bit short box next. So have a seat. This one can be tricky on the hip flexor, so take a break when and if you need it.

But for now, what I'm gonna do, is have us with both legs straight, or you can slightly bend them. Let's do that. Let's just them slightly bent, as if there was a strap under our feet. Okay, hands for now, we're gonna be right behind our head. I'm sorry.

One arm over the other, my bad. Zip up the knees. I'm pushing the forearms into each other. We're gonna roll back. I'm just gonna keep this short for now.

Well probably most of it. Then take an inhale. Check yourself out, your back is rounded. You start the exhale. You keep the curve.

Your shoulders end up over your hips and roll back up. You can even drop the arms there. Inhale. Almost hugging yourself, right? Then as you exhale, you feel the belly pull away from your arms.

The rest of the body responds, as you start to roll back. Roll back, hang onto that imaginary strap. Inhale. Start the exhale. Keep your curve.

Come forward. Keep your curve. When your shoulders are over your hips and you should see that, 'cause you're looking down. You just stack yourself up. Switch the arm that's on top.

Push them into each other. Hugging yourself. Exhale, roll back. (exhales) Roll, roll, roll. Start the exhale deep in the belly.

Come forward, come forward. Then stack from the base of the spine, up. Inhale. Exhale back (exhales). Inhale.

And exhale, come forward. And up. Just pretend it's bees, if you can (laughs). If you can hear that leaf blower. I'm pretending it's lovely bees.

Just enjoying the flowers. Hands behind your head. You might wanna straighten your legs out. I'm gonna keep them bent, because I do want it ever so subtle, pulling back of the hip bones. So there's a subtle tuck, to keep me flat.

From there, it's not gonna be big. We hinge back. You're not arching. You're just leaving the opening, the gap, at your hip. Exhale, come up.

If you want a little more, just maybe lace your thumbs, arms close to your head and inhale lean back. Oh, I'm gonna stay where I was. Exhale, come up. I'm not really sure which is easier, but the other one's hard to measure. Inhale, hinge back.

Exhale, when you get up, sit up taller. Don't forget the inner thighs. Squeeze them, it helps. Inhale, back. Exhale, up.

One more here. Inhale, nice long neck. Exhale, up. Stay up. Either straighten your legs.

Come into a diamond position. Get right up on top of the sitz bones. Slightly tuck. We're doing the tilt. So all that means is, to one side, as if you're in between for now, two plates of glass.

Maybe a slight angle is appropriate. Exhale, back up. This is a hard one to get, I think. Inhale, tilting over. Tilting over.

And come back up. Sometimes, I've learned it this way, where you have your thumbs interlaced and it's like you're, to tilt, it's like you're skimming all those fingertips across the ceiling, then stretching away, keeping the opposite hip down. That's why it's so short. But it's still, it's like I'm lifting, I'm sliding across. Then I take that little lateral flexion and back.

Try two more. Up and over. Come back. Up and over. And back.

Hands behind your head again. I'm gonna go back to the knees together, but you can stay there. It's a little harder to control, I think. Knees together, feet under that imaginary strap. We rotate towards the front.

Hinge back on the diagonal, just like the flat back we did earlier. Exhale, come up and center. Inhale, rotate. Try not to lean back yet. Now you do.

Exhaling up, as you get taller, and center, it's almost like you're lifting up your head. Lean back and up. And center and rotate. Lean back. Come up and center.

Rotate, last set. Oh, can you rotate more? Stay rotated until you get up. Here it is. Twist.

Reach. Come on up and center. Let the knees part, we're not quite done here. Round over. So I'm in that diamond position, just letting my hips open up a little bit.

Getting ready for our beloved climate tree. Climate tree they're trimming. Here we go, sit up. For this one, I'm gonna hold onto my right knee and I'm gonna let the left leg stretch out. If you got long legs, good for you, 'cause it's gonna help.

From here, as tall as I can, I'm sitting up. Then I do that thing again, where I pull the front hip bones back a little, so I'm ever so slightly behind the sitz bones. Easy to float that other leg up and focus on this first part for the flat back. So I'm pulling the whole knee into me and almost up, so my spine is still long. A little different than traditional.

Two, hold it on three. Straighten that leg, to the best of your ability, without changing that long back that you just had. Then, you're gonna walk it back a bit. Here's a tip. Press the leg into your hand, when you don't have a strap.

So I'm doing that and I'm gonna walk down. I'm gonna walk down. I'm gonna walk down. I'm gonna walk down. I'm now in an ab position.

Circle the arms around. I didn't change the spine there. Walk up. Push the leg into the hands. Get to the top.

Pull it closer, now that you're here, use it as a measure of straightening your back again. Fold the knee. You might sit up a tiny bit taller and pulse. Two, three. Straighten the leg.

Walk down, two, three. Circle the arms. There's some inhale in there somewhere. Walk up, two, three. Stretch yourself towards your leg.

Let's do it again. Next tip. Use that bottom leg on the floor. Pulse one, two, three. Stretch it up.

Now where your leg is, try to leave, or you maybe pull it up a little, but you wanna leave it there. So you're coming up that high. One, two, three. Circle the arms. Leg hasn't moved.

Doesn't move, doesn't move, doesn't move. Ah, here we are. Pull yourself into it. Hang out with me. You might have to lighten up the grip on the calf here, for this to work.

So sort of let it rest there, instead of grip it and flex and point. Flex, articulate through the toes. Point one more. Flex and point. If you want a little bit more, hold the leg where it is and come to it.

Elbows wide and high. Stretch to your leg, up to your ankle and the leg switch. Hmm! All right, so. First things first. We're tall already.

We do the pull back of the hips. We're now we're just ready to go. Pulse in and think taller in the spine, taller in the spine, taller in the spine. Straighten the leg. Do the best you can.

From here, we roll back. Two, three. Circle the arms. There's an inhale there somewhere. Exhale.

Two, oh boy, oh boy. Three and straighten up, up, up. Looks like a teaser doesn't it, or half of one? Whoa! Pull it, walk down, ah sorry. Bend, I know what I'm doing.

Two, three. There's my flat back-ish. And straighten. It's getting looser. Down, two, three.

Circle the arms and up. Two, three. Readjust your shoulders. I'm talking to me and fold. Last one.

Pull one, two, three. Was it last one? We do four. Dang, anyway. Down, I think it was four.

It feels good. I think we did. And around, around, around. Walk up, up, up, up, stretch your spine. Let's do it one more.

Come on. One, two, three, stretch. Walk down. It's like I'm trying to pull the leg out of the hip, as I walk down. Circle around.

It's all imaginary of course, but somehow it helps me. Lift tall, lift tall. Lighten up your grip. Flex the foot. Point the foot.

Oh, flex the foot. If you need to hold out your thigh, that's fine. That'll be that. Go ahead and bend the knee. Both knees in.

Stretch yourself forward. Voila. Rightio. Swivel to face the front. Let's go figure four.

Yeah. We do this. I love this. That's why we keep doing it. This version, the shoulder rest would be here, foot bar would be here.

A friend of mine, Sarah, reminded me that I could use the shoulder rest. Again, a lot of doing reform on the mat, is imagining you're a reformer. But if you push that way, when you get into this position, it just kind of connects the whole thing. So see if that means anything to you, as we go. We're here, we're upright.

We're trying to get the hip down, as best we can. That's all. Reach out. So now here's that place where I'm imagining I'm pushing into the shoulder rest. The bottom of my foot's in my knee.

So I have some anchor over there. I land softly. Then I rotate. I rotate, I rotate. I reopen.

I'm still anchored over there, remember? So it's easier to get up. Grab that shin. Reach. Let's go.

We're upright. Oh set that hip back down, if you can. Reach over. Land softly. Rotate, now the rotation is the spine, not the arm.

We don't care really where the arm lands, truthfully. Reopen it. You're on the long line, as if someone pulls you up. Take the stretch, enjoy that. You're up.

Reach. Land. Anchor, anchor, anchor. It's never about one end of the body, one part of the body. The body is the body, as a whole.

So that's what we work. And lift. Take the stretch. See if you can sit the hip down a little more. Once you've done that, rotate the ribs open a little more.

Go a little further, if you can. Then just come back up. We'll switch sides. Just swing your legs around. So you're still facing the front.

Make this part kind of comfortable, I think, is a good cue. Another words, I suppose we could be perfectly aligned, but try to do it where you feel like you could almost sit both sitz bones down. Some people can. I'm not necessarily saying that's the ideal. But anyway, here we go.

You know the deal. Reach out. You're anchored. Let yourself land softly and rotate from the spinal column. If your hand touches, great.

If it doesn't okay. Reopen. Lift up. If that hip rolled way forward and it's nowhere near where it was, put it back. Grab the shin, reach up and stretch up and over.

Wonder if y'all can hear those pops in my back, or if you just see (laughs) the smile on my face. Reach over, let it land softly, rotate. Ah, you can work that a little bit. You can look behind you. You can use your hands for traction.

However you want. Reopen. Lift, grab. Up and over. And again.

You can tell we're getting there. Stay with me. Rotate. Reopen. Lift up.

Hold on. Get that arm close as you can. This one's not as close for me, but that's cool, I'm happy. I'm happy. Closer than I used to be.

Voila, okay. We're going into two things. That's kind of random order here for sure. But pulling straps and breaststroke. Okay, so you're gonna come down onto your belly, okay.

Feet as close together as possible, but don't hurt yourself, okay? So rather try to have the front of the hips flat, as flat as possible, okay? So for this version of pulling straps, somebody should fire me, as a maid, as I clean up the floor in this position (laughs). We're looking down. Our heads, just float them off the ground for now.

In fact, the whole time. So you're already in the sense of back extension of the upper back. Take your arms, bend them. You might have to lift a little or bow the elbows out to the side to get them out, bending right next to your body. Then the elbows come up, right?

So it's like you're about to do a chaturanga, but the arms are really low. From there, keep your upper arms where they are. Start to straighten those arms and just pulse for five, four. My palms are facing each other. Three, two, one.

Reach around to the top again. From here, bend the elbows. I'm not touching the floor this time. Get them right next to you. Turn those palms to face you.

I like to make a fist, as if I have the rope. The elbows are up nice and high. Stretch back. Triceps are as tight as you can make them. Hug them closer, if they're not tight and lift up five, four, three, two, one.

Swing around. If you need to take a break, do. This'll be the last one like this. You slide the arms in. So again, I'm like skimming across the tabletop, just off the ground.

Now I hug them close to me. I turn those arms. I make my fist. I let the elbows go higher than the back. I squeeze the triceps.

I squeeze my back. I really squeeze those shoulder blades. Why not? Take the arms in front of you and then bring them right back by shoulders and just rest. Put your head down.

Okay. How's that for a rest? So the last back exercise we'll do, is back extension. But I'm gonna do basically, a reverse back extension. If you know the exercise.

So hands nice and wide, near your shoulders. Do your best to keep your elbows and forearms on the ground. It may not happen. But just think about that. Draw the belly in.

We're gonna skim the forearm, along the floor. Lift your elbow when you need to. Don't hurt yourself. Pinky to hips or thigh. Like that's where we're at.

Palm is still facing down. From here, you're gonna start to lift your spine a little bit more. Look forward. Take those straight arms out to the side, overhead. Rebend them and you can come down to the start position.

Okay. So, elbows down. You can move your hands forward a little, it's fine. Here we go. Slide those forearms out to the side.

Feel what happens in your shoulder. Take the arms all the way to straight behind you. Palms to the floor. Inhale, lift up. Reach them overhead and come back to the starting position, resting down.

Let's go. Inhale, arms go to the back. Lift your back a little, as you sweep the arms forward and bend to come down. So we're just gently hovering here. Take it back.

When you sweep those arms around, you try to lift. Of course, you're not gonna get much higher, I don't think. And down. Let's do it. Take it back.

All the way around. Hold it for a second. Press your sternum into the ground. But raise your arms. Arms are absolutely straight.

They can be wide, it's okay. Then come all the way down. Rest everything for the moment. Then use your hands. Tighten up the belly a little.

Press yourself back, into a rest position. Yes. (deep breathing) From there, just take yourself forward. Don't need to be particular. We're gonna get up.

We're gonna stand. Actually, before you go to full standing, just roll the feet back. When we fold over. We'll end, like we started. So take your time to position your feet, so they're parallel.

Check them out. Maybe roll one way or the other. Before we completely stand, let's try to bend our knees as much as possible, without the heels coming up. Go ahead, go ahead. You can lift your arms.

You can do anything you want. Then hands down. Try to straighten your legs. Head drops. Bend.

As much as you can. No need to like I said, overdo it now, but it's straighten. It's a good thing to be able to flex those feet. So I'm just showing you that. Then hang.

How about we all soften our knees a bit, if they're not already there. Breathing, maybe shake your head no. Then let gravity take over. So you let the skin be heavy. Let everything just kind of go here.

We're off the reformer. You can play with that a lot of different ways. Then nod your head yes and do the same thing. Once you get it going, just let gravity do it, so you feel the full weight of your head, giving your spine, not necessarily length, but some freedom, hopefully. (sighs) All right, but just getting back on.

Step into your feet. Knees are still a little bit bent for me. Feel free to put your hands on your shins, but roll yourself up. Support yourself. Feel all the parts of your body, as you grow tall, without strain.

Tall without anything, you just are. 'Cause you don't have to hold yourself. You don't have to brace. You can just like let the space be that's there and rise up on the toes a little. Inhale and exhale.

I'm not working out. I'm just trying to focus again. Up and down. How about one more time? And down.

Thanks for being here. Thanks for coming into my dining room, living room, main room. I'll see you next time. Bye.

Garage Sessions with Kristi - Playlist 2

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Connection, Length, Expansion, Breath

Sep 24, 2020
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Reformer on the Mat
Kristi Cooper
Level 2
50 min
BASI Pilates®
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1 person likes this.
Beautiful class as always Kristi. Thank you x
3 people like this.
Loved the class! But I sure need to get connected on the rollup and over as I seem to have no strength to lift legs over without giving myself a push with my hands.  I will keep practicing.
1 person likes this.
I have been missing the reformer and loved this adaptation of exercises for the mat.  Thank you, Kristi!
I was missing the reformer workout as well! This was good. Thanks!
2 people like this.
This was challenging for me - in a good way! Loved the class and thanks for having us in your home. I miss the grass wall
1 person likes this.
This was my 50th birthday workout, and it was good. Thanks for keeping me moving, strong, and flexible into the next decade, Kristi. Your workouts have been key to my physical fitness.
1 person likes this.
Loved it phew need to work on my arm strength and my roll over 👏💕
Thanks Everyone! Deb for the roll up try rolling up an hand towel lengthwise and place it at the top of your sacrum, when you make contact with it press into it in both directions. Sometimes a little assist makes a big difference!  Happy 50th Adam. I just turned 50 also! Here we go! Joanne I miss the grass wall too. I don't miss the spiders in my garage though!! 
1 person likes this.
Thank you Kristi! Luckily I have a reformer at home so I have  been able to use mine during the quarantine but this class was awesome. What a way to keep it honest on some of these exercises. Loved all of that extension at the end as we were mimicking pulling  straps and breaststroke. The Beginning footwork was also awesome! 
1 person likes this.
I love spine stretches.. in this class it is the one where you are sitting in the figure four position; you then turn to the side & put both hands on the floor. I have to remember that one because it popped so many vertebrae:)  I got a good workout, had fun, and feel much better. Thanks again Kristi:)  
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