Class #4266


50 min - Class


Courtney Miler continues with A for Align in Pilates with HEART. This is a class based more in the traditional Pilates method where you will move your body in all planes of motion and mobilize your spine in flexion, rotation, lateral flexion, and extension. Courtney works your entire body, challenging you with plenty of exercises from the advanced repertoire.

Check out Courtney's playllist for Align.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Nov 25, 2020
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Hi guys, Courtney here, and I'm teaching a class for you today called Align. It's a class that I teach at my studio, Pilates Republic. And in Align I use the machine in a more traditional way. Some of our other classes are pretty creative and quite contemporary, they're fusion based, but I'm gonna try to stick to some of the Pilates repertoire that I learned in my training. Of course, there will be some slight adaptations and I'll give you lots of opportunities to make modifications as well.

I'm using my reformer, my box, and I have my footwork settings on. So that's four springs. Let's lie down and get started. The headrest is in the down position to start. Before I start with my foot work, I wanna make sure that my breath and my body are connected.

Roll Up

So I'm gonna do a few roll-ups, arms are up, shoulder blades squeeze together, navel draws down. On an exhale, I'm gonna roll all the way up and over my thighs, shoulders drop down. On an inhale, I go halfway back and I pause, exhaling to take it down the rest of the way, trying to touch each segment of my spine to the mat. And it starts again, exhale up. The sensation is to glide my ribs towards my hips.

Inhale, there's the C curve. I feel a heavy sensation in my legs, and then exhale as I roll down, there's opposition, I'm reaching my arms forward. Exhale up, roll halfway back and all the way down. Now, the next time I roll up, I'm gonna stay up, and go to my half roll back position. From here keeping your hips stable and your legs steady, reach one arm open to the side and exhale come on back through.

Spinal Rotation

The goal here is to connect this movement in my arms with my breath and my abdominal. So the sensation is your arms are just an extension of that core system. Inhale, open, exhale, close, three, two, and the closer down to the mat you are, the harder you're gonna work, and one, take it all the way down and we're actually gonna leave our arms up. Just like this, squeeze the shoulder blades together, take the heels of the feet onto the bar. The goal is not to move the carriage, but you have a lot of springs on, so it probably won't move as you roll up.

Bridge - Heels Hip Width

Inhale, stay at the top, pull your chin away from your chest, and exhale, start to roll down. My goal here is segmental movement, so each bone in the spine moves independently of the one above and below. And I'm also trying to focus on creating a sense of traction or length. So I'm always reaching my bum a little bit closer to that foot bar, rolling down upper, middle and then the lower spine. And on this one we're gonna stay up, so peel right up to those shoulder blades and you're gonna use your arms, so float them down and really press into the mat, straight elbows, fingertips reaching, hips lifted high.

Single Leg Lower Lift

One leg goes to the sky and that legs gonna swing down, that's a breath in. It's gonna go as low as the hips can stay level and then exhale, there's a lot of power in that kick up. Inhale down, exhale out, we've got eight of these. (courtney breaths heavily) One more. Place the foot down, keep the hips lifted, find center and take that other leg up.

So I'm dorsiflexing through my foot as I go down, pushing through my heel, lifting that hip up, so I don't rotate, and then I am using a little bit of momentum and lots of hips to get that leg back up. Eight. Two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight. Place the foot down, lift the hips a little higher, so you find that recovery and take it down slow, upper, middle and lower. Drape legs over the bar, lift your arms to the sky, exhale, roll up.

Roll Up

Roll halfway back. We've been here before in this position, the lower back you go, the harder you're gonna (indistinct). Instead of an opening, we're gonna lift. Overhead and exhale, over. And as that arm lifts and comes back through center, there's a tightening of that abdominal belt.

Spinal Rotation w/Arms Up and Over

I'm trying to keep my legs as stable as I can, but I'm also trying to maximize rotation in my spine. This is a great time to get a really solid breath in and then empty those lungs. One more, each side, (Courtney breathes heavily) and take it down, slow you go. If you'd like to have your head rest up for your foot work, now it would be the time to make the adjustment. You have your footwork settings on.

Pilates Stance

Let's start in Pilates V, heels together, toes apart, toes on the bar, press all the way out and pause. I just want you to stay here for a second and settle in, squeeze the inner thighs together, find that position where your pubic bone and your hip bones are level, drop the ribs down into the mat and resist to come in. Let's press out for 10. Going to straight legs. It's as if I'm standing on the floor and I'm pushing the floor away to stand taller, in and out.

I like to add micro pause when my legs are straight to make sure that I'm not snapping my legs straight, but instead pulling my kneecaps up like an elastic band. Two to go. Draw the knees to touch, the toes to touch, heels up high, ankles connected, press pause, collect yourself, draw up for the thighs, inhaling, exhaling to press out. It's as if the legs are moving as a single unit here, ribs heavy. Getting longer getting taller, four, three, two, one.

Toes Parallel

We're gonna take the toes to the outer edges of the bar into our second position, knees are opening, just a little wider than those blocks, press and pause. This sensation here guys, is this hugging in. Even though your inner thighs don't touch each other, the sensations that they're coming in towards each other. So fire into those inner thighs when your legs are straight, press squeeze. (Courtney exhaling) This is a great time to put a hand on the belly and feel the connection of breath and movement and abdominals.

Toes Wide Second

Three, two, and one. Taking our heels on the bar, feet to hip distance apart. For this one I like to put my hands on my hips, gonna press out for five, big toes pressing forward, four, three, two, one, right leg comes to tabletop and press, four, try to keep those hips level, three, two, one. Make the switch. You gotta find that foot bar pressing for four all the way out straighten leg, three, two, one, back both legs on, bilateral presses.

Heels - Hip Width

This is your time to find it as if your heels divided into two halves push evenly through both. Right, leg table top, this time bicycle motion. Four, three, two, one. Left legs, see if we can make that transfer smooth. Four, three, two, one.

Heel - Single Leg

Toes on, feet together, press out, lower. And you get to use the springs for good, not evil. You're using those springs to help you find length, drawing out through the thighs, 10 lifts, down and up you go. Another really good time to find that breath. A little note, if you feel those shoulders pushing aggressively into of the shoulder blocks, excuse me, pushing into your shoulders, might be a reminder there's some tension there.

Heels Hip Width

So let it go. Nice wide collar bones, three, two one, and come on in. Drape your legs over the bar, arms up, roll up. Now, we're not here for long, just enough time to pop a few springs off, reach under the legs. I have left one red and one blue, and that's what I'm gonna do my mid back series on, one red and one blue you can choose to use your long or short loops if you have the option, the short loops are gonna feel a bit harder.

Heel - Single Leg Bend and Extend

Leave your head down as you practice pulling, resist to come up. So the pressing down might feel kind of intuitive, right? It's pushing against tension, but the lifting up is where I want you to bring your attention. When your arms lift up, your shoulders drop, when your arms lift up, your collarbones are wide. See if you can keep that sensation well in an abdominal curl.

Heels Lower Lift

So now you're up, shoulders are down, collarbones are wide, inhale. How high do you lift? As high as you can. You're working for it. One more.

Roll Up

Take it down. Leave the head down as your arms open to a T, the carriage doesn't move. Pull your arms into your body and flip your palms down. That's your circle. You go up, out, in.

Arm Press Down

Up, stabilize the machine, pull with your lats, in. If you wanna do this with your head off the mat into an abdominal curl, go ahead, do it now. One more this direction, and reverse. We go out, pause when your hands are just beside you. Float the arms up, the machine doesn't move, pull down.

Arm Press Down in Flexion

So there's a lot of movement, there's also a lot of stability in this sequence. Three to go to, two, one. And arms come up. If you'd like to rest the feet, now it'd be a good time. It's also a good time to make adjustments, wiggle around, kind of find yourself in the position that you wanna be in and exhale, pull the arms down.

Arm Circles

This time we're gonna go into our ab curl, bend the elbows, find your nineties, pushing legs forward, arms forward, there's a pause, inhale. Now, as the arms push down, there's a little lift that happens in the shoulders and chest. You deepen your abdominal curl. Even if it's just a micro amount, you deepen the curl when you push down five, four, three, two, and one. Take your legs under the bar and take a break for a moment in preparation for the hundred.

Tricep Press in Flexion w/ Legs Extending

You can switch to the longer loops to decrease the load. Inhale, get ready, exhale. You just float the legs to the bar and you begin to pump. Inhaling for five pumps, exhaling for five. I prefer to do a long breath.


Some people like a staccato breaths. I think as long as you're breathing, we agree, you're good. Into the nose, out through the mouth. Three more rounds, in. And last time.

Take a break, hook up your straps and drape your legs over the bar. Here we go again. Swing your feet off to one side, reduce your tension, so you have just a red, if your headrest is up, place it down and sit facing back. You'll wanna measure a little bit of space behind your bump, so you don't roll off the back, grab your straps, long or short, and sit as tall as you can. For me to sit tall, I bend my knees a little bit.

Roll Up

Pull out, press hold, inhale. This is about posture. And I often think of my yoga classes where the teacher's explaining staff pose if that resonates with you. It's a really big lift to the chest, tighten through the belly, trying to create almost a 90, a perfect 90 degree angle. Resist as you come forward, three, neck is long, two, and one.


Arms come forward and you roll back, finding your sea scoop. Keep the elbows lifted high as you bend them in, exhale to curl. You wanna be so low that you feel like you're almost gonna touch that foot far behind you, ribs are closing. Go for a full extension guys, all the way out and in four or five. If you have your ankles crossed, you might wanna crisscross the other one on top now, just even out, three, two, and one, reach to the toes, take a break, take a stretch.

Bicep Curls in C Curve

Rebuild the spine for back rowing, exhale, pull the fist towards your chest back to the C-scoop you go. Inhale arms back to a T position, carriage doesn't move. This time two things happen at once, you're gonna dive forward and push your arms straight back behind you, reaching towards your foot bar, circle your arms up over to the thighs. You're gonna lose the tension. That's okay, rebuild, 'cause the whole thing starts again.

Rowing Back

Pull, open like wings, push and dive forward, lift, overhead and rebuild. Two to go. Exhale, pull, inhale, reach, push and dive to the toes, belly draws in and up as the arms take flight, rebuild. Last one, pull, inhale, and big movements with the arms as you go up and over, take a moment, hook up your straps and rebuild your spine. Good.

Swing your feet off to one side, come to standing. Let's keep the belly working, keep those arms nice and strong. One foot goes back against the shoulder block, coming to a deep lunge position. I want you to stay in this position with your lower body, but channel your mat Pilates upper back work. Inhale, reach your arms forward, exhale, pull, inhale, reach, exhale, pull.

Breaststroke Arms in Lunge

So I'm thinking about doing the breaststroke preparatory exercises on the mat. Inhale, reach and exhale, pull, adding a little chest lift for five, four, three, two and one. Hands go onto the bar. We're gonna go into a version of long stretch, thumbs over. Option one, cross your ankles and hold this position.

Breaststroke Arms in Lunge w/ Chest Lift

For some people, this is uncomfortable and it's really hard to keep the hips square. So option two, just have your feet right beside each other and use that shoulder block so you don't slide back. Inhale, rock back, exhale, chest over the bar. Now, I want you to stay real strong in that upper back and think to yourself, it is not your wrists that'll holds you up, it is your back. The weakest link while you're in a plank here is your low back.

Long Stretch

So use your inner thighs and your glutes to keep that low back feeling strong. Last three, two, and one. Take the knees down with control and open your stance. So far so good. So those hips back, reach back, grabbing your straps.

Serve a Tray

You can use the long or the short loops. We're gonna reach forward first and then rise, sort of settle in feet back against those shoulder blocks. Inhale, bending the elbows into the sides, low belly tight, exhale, push. And I want you to think of symmetry here, front and back body working together, front of the shoulder and back of the shoulder working to keep this neutral and vertical alignment, three, two, and one. Lower the arms down by the sides, just beside you is where you wanna be, big lift for five, one.

Scooping Forward

See if you can keep your pinkies and your thumbs level, two, three, four. And now we're gonna go right into shaving chin drops. Thumbs connect, elbows wide, close those ribs, push forward. The fingers can come apart but the thumbs stay together and then return to the nape of the neck, push. There's a sequence here guys, and the sequence is shoulders down, tummy tight, then we push the arms to extension.


Five, four, three, two, one. Circle and sit, hookup your straps, that's come off to the other side. Left foot to the floor, right foot onto the machine, finding that lunge position again and holding it back knee cap lifts. Close the ribs, pull the belly in, stretch and pull. So I think there's a lot of value to our mat Pilates repertoire.

Breaststroke Arms in Lunge

So let's try to create some of the same exercises here on the machine. And we're gonna lift and dive, lift, and dive, four, three, two, one, hands down. That's no joke that's a lot of work in the back body. Thumbs over the bar, bring your chest over the bar, and you have the option again, crossing the ankles might work for you. What I like about crossing the ankles is I really feel my inner thighs fire up, feet beside each other, another option.

Breaststroke Arms in Lunge w/ Chest Lift

Knees down, another great option. Inhale, rock backwards, exhale, pull the chest forward. Back into that long stretch, push and pull. Notice your habits. Do you drop the head when you push the machine back?

Long Stretch

Think of the back of the head. Like my ponytail lifting up. What about the shoulder blades? Are they wide, are they flat or are you squeezing them together? Think about pushing your chest bone up.

Two to go. And one, nicely done guys. Now, we're gonna turn this shape around for chest expansion, kneeling with the knees against the shoulder blocks, hold your ropes, the higher up the harder it's gonna be. Roll the shoulders down and back, rise to come up. On an exhale, pull the arms back and hold, inhale keeping the chin parallel to the floor, look, look, exhale, there's a deepening of the work, inhale, forward you go, exhale, inhale, and come forward.

Chest Expansion

Again, pull. And this rotation that we do in the spine is to make sure there's no tension, nada, no tension in the neck at all. One more time, pull, and come all the way forward. Great job guys, hook it up, gonna turn it around again. We haven't changed our springs, just changing our scenery for down stretch.

Down Stretch

Hold on to the shoulder or onto the foot bar feet against the shoulder blocks, push the hips forward, press through your heels, create this directional stretch forward with the head back with the heels, glutes and tummy tight. Inhale back you go, (indistinct) through the arms, inhale back, length guys, inhale, head away from heels, strong glutes, inhale back, three, two, one. Sit the hips back, take a moment. Coming right up into elephant. We're gonna do a few versions of this exercise, flat feet for this one at least, feet back against the shoulder blocks, belly in and up.


There is a lift that happens in the ribs, drop that happens in the head and we're going for light heals. Excuse me, we're going for heavy heels. Light toes, pull those toesies up, inhale, press back as far as the heels can stay down. Now, before you pull your feet forward, round your back more, draw your belly button in and the sensation as the feet come forward because this middle is lifting up. Inhale back, exhale pull, lots of space between the shoulders and the ears here guys, push and pull for five.

Are your elbows a little soft? They should be. Three, two, one, flat back. Now, my flat back doesn't look so flat, it's hard for me to get my low back to move in the direction I want, but if I go into a single leg, gives me a little bit more sensation of length, reaching my heel back and my head forward. I have to work really hard to drop that hip, it wants to open.

Single Leg Elephant

I'm gonna try to drop it. Inhale, push, exhale, reaching through that back heel and activating for those glutes. That was a little soft, five, four, three, two and one. And I'll tell you what doesn't feel sore doing this exercise, is my wrist, because I'm really trying to keep so much weight back over my legs that I'm not really feeling it a lot here. Extend the other leg, drop that hip, lean back, here I go.

This truly one of those ones, the more you do the better you get. You find those connections, you feel the sensation, and you just keep evolving, five, four, three, two, one. Step it forward. How do we do? Now, an exercise that nobody likes.

Tendon Stretch Prep

We still do it. Tendon stretch. Let's do some preparatory movements first. First things first, keep the carriage closed, feet on the carriage, heels hang off a little bit. Let's just lift that booty a couple of times and get the sensation of inversion.

So we lift, chin to chest, my weight's more into my toes in this position. Just like the round back elephant belies in and up we almost take a break when we come back up. Four, three, two, like holding a peach between my chin and my chest, one. That's the easy part. Now, there's nothing easy about this exercise.

Tendon Stretch

Push. So your heels are hooked on the front edge of the carriage, doesn't feel like it's gonna slide at all. I'm gonna push down through my hands, I'm gonna engage through my back and bring my hips just in front of the bar. And I can feel the spring giving me the tension and support I need to hold this position. I'm gonna round it back and I'm gonna try to lift up weight to my toes to close the carriage and then using eccentric control to push out.

Exhale, up, inhale, out. So when I'm here, I feel more weight on my toes, but when I'm here, I feel more weight on my heels. Three, two, and one. And I walk my feet forward and take my knees down. There's a couple of options for our control balance front, let's start with the preparatory movements.

Control Balance Front

Drop onto the elbows, push out and find it. Tail's tuck, tummy's tight, back of the head up. First option right here, it's so good. Keep going, you don't have to make any changes. If you wanna come into the next stage, hands on top of the shoulder blocks, toes onto the foot bar, tummy tight, here we go.

Hands under the shoulders, push, it is my back holding me here. My abs are tight, glutes are strong, four, three, two, and one. And I take a knee down and the other knee down. Yeah, let's grab our box. Long box time.

Pulling Straps

Now, on me Allegro 2, this machine that I'm on here, I like to turn the blocks, I'll show you what I mean. And this allows me to put the box over those blocks, like so. You don't have to do that though, you can put them in front. I'm gonna leave that red spring on, I'll leave that bar too. So come on, five first and prom.

Chest is off the box, legs can be zipped up and together, legs can be be a part, legs can be bent. You got options. Do what feels best for the low back. Hold on to your ropes and allow your chest to completely drop here. There is a full surrendering that needs to happen.

I'm gonna keep my legs apart and my pubic bone heavy. On an inhalation, up I go, neck stays long, chest is wide, exhale, resist the lower, inhale. My head is just along for the ride, inhale. My legs are long and active. Four, three, two, and on one, we're up, bend the elbows and pause, keep them up, keep them tucked in, pushing back.

Tricep Pull

I love this one. As the fist reach back, the head reaches forward. I'm getting longer. I feel like I am a torpedo of love on a mission. Five, four, three, two, one, and take a break.

Hook up your straps. Option one, leave the spring as it is, leave it on the red, option to go down to a blue. I'm choosing option two. I'm on a blue. Come up onto your hands and knees on top of the box, couple cat stretches guys.

Cat Stretch

Now, in the last exercise, the box was helping to stabilize the spine because we were laying on our belly, now, we don't have that support. I like to take one knee in the center of my hands, so I'm making this tripod. This knee is under my pelvis, the other foot goes to the little edge, and that gives me the help I need to get my foot in the strap, long loop, send that leg back. What I'm trying to keep is a neutral spine, so a little bit of a curve in my back and my pelvis right behind my shoulders. And then I sweep down, and up, down, and up.

Sweeping Back

My visual, if you're a visual person is a lemon resting on my low back, just joking, it's a glass of wine on my low back. That's the motivation I need not to spill it, inhale, down, exhale, up, four, lots of distance between your hip and shoulder, three, two, one, bring it in. You're not done yet, and this is a little variation of sideline legs, we're gonna do it up here on the box. So I know that these boxes can seem really small when you're up here. So if you don't like it on the box, take the box off and do it on the mat.

Sweeping Forward

You can be propped up here or you can support your head down here. There might be an option that just feels really good for you, you should take it. Take your top leg long. So I got that lift happening, inhale, swing and exhale. Sometimes I take this top hand and I just kinda hold my head up front or anything like this.

Big stretch. The reason I like doing these two exercises back to back like this, 'cause I feel like the version is really working my power muscles, my glute maximus, and now, I'm getting into the deeper stabilizing muscles of the hip, feels a little different. Inhale, big stretch, exhale. Two more, and one. And then I'm gonna slide this strap behind my knee, and if you're on a palo, it might feel a little bit light, but lighter tension helps to work deeper muscles, so we're good.

Hip Circles

I'm gonna do a circle motion, so I'm gonna to bring my thigh towards my chest, go up and down. Ooh, I already feel it. So I'm going up, open, I'm trying to avoid externally rotating and just trying to keep it in parallel. Whoops, I reversed it. That's okay we were gonna reverse anyways.

So about five or six in each direction is all you need to get the job done. And bring it in, foot can come out, and you're ready for the other side. Maybe a couple of cats just to settle in rounding the back. I think it's always nice to blend stability exercises with mobility ones so you don't feel rigid. Okay.

Cat Stretch

So my left knee is way back here under my hips, but it's in between my two hands. And I'm gonna try to keep a lot of distance between my right hip and my right shoulder, inhale down. And I'm trying to lean more to my right to get those abs to work. Four more, two, and one, and then you can roll. And you'll see, I mean, I'm pretty much using up the whole box.

Sweeping Back

So if you feel like you need to make some adjustments, then definitely listen to your body. Okay, this can be done on the mat, you don't have to do it up here on the box, inhale, swing and exhale, back. Whoops, am not I supposed to lift out through here. So when my foot goes forward, I'm trying to send this cheek back to create some space between my thigh bone and my pelvis. Inhale and exhale.

Sweeping Forward

And this Position with the head is actually great exercise for the muscles in the neck, which we know are under-trained, right? Overused, under-trained, three, two, one, bring it behind the knee. Okay, here we go. Parallel circles, to the chest, up and back, if the strap hits your face, you're probably not stacking your hips, either that or you're really, really flexible in your hips, but the straps should be in front of your face. Reverse.

Hip Circles

You don't have to do a lot of these to feel them. Four, three, two, one. Well, that makes me want to go into a swan. So let's come off, hook up our strap. And we're gonna lay on our belly on the box, this time when you come on it's facing the other way, my thigh, and you can come forward a lot here, chest off and even some of the ribs.


Again, I like my legs apart, hands to the foot bar, press on it. So first things first, set those shoulders, reach through your legs, have these through the pubic bone, inhale, up you go, exhale. I imagine that I am lying on a bed of hot coals. I've actually never done that in my life, but I wouldn't want my tummy to touch them, so I'm trying to pull up, as I go down. Four, three, two, and one, and rest, and I'm just gonna swing my legs forward, kinda like we're doing horseback, but I would never make you do that exercise, just joking.

Modified Teaser

I would, but I not, we're not gonna do it today, let's just put it that way. Okay, so grab your straps from behind. I have a blue spring on still. So I'm gonna use my small loops, 'cause I'm on a blue. If you're on a red, you might only use the long.

Okay, so scooch forward a bit. I think at the box divided into three halves, and I wanna sit towards the first half. Roll your shoulders down and back, bring your hands by your thighs and rock those hips back. Keep the chest open and float legs up, boom, we're here in a teaser, exhale, lift, inhale, lower. So it's a good thing that we practice contracting the arms with breath and abdominals, 'cause now we really need it.

Four, three, two, one. I like to straddle and forward fold. I feel like that's like just the perfect counter movement in between the teasers. Let's do it again. So roll the hips back, put the legs up.


This time, leave the arms up and with control, rock backwards. That's the easy part you have to get back up. Whoa, inhale, down and exhale, up. Three more, two, one, take a break. Shall we do the whole big teaser.

Modified Teaser 1

Step, slide down. Your shoulder blades hang off the back of the box. I think this is the best part of the whole exercise, and your legs are squeezed together and then on an exhale, tuck your chin roll up to like your hundred position, and then from here, find the V, and you can bend your knees here, I'll keep them straight, and down and up we're gonna go, three times, one, two, I'm trying to bring my chest in like close together, three. And then I'm really reaching through my hands so that I roll with control back into the best stretch for your chest ever. And then it all starts again.


Exhale, tuck your chin, see if you can balance as the arms float up one, two, three, reach for your feet as you lower down, it's really helpful to stay in control, one more time. And here you go, one, two, three. And then what I tend to do, instead of trying to do anything fancy, I just drop my straps, and then roll up and over the thighs. Nice. All right you guys, let's come off to one side.

Teaser Combo

All right guys, so we're gonna take this box, pick it up and flip it to short box position. I like it in front of the shoulder blocks. You might have a reason why you want it over those shoulder blocks. It depends on leg length, right? Let's increase the tension so that the carriage doesn't wiggle around and our feet are gonna go under the foot strap.

Round Back w/Rotation

So why might you have it in front or over those shoulder blocks kinda depends on leg length and also your carriage set up, but what I do want you to focus on is while you're sitting here, your knees should be bent and you do have about a hands width behind your tailbone, so you have something's rolled back into. Arms forward, exhale as you flex and roll. So I'm really trying to get those hips to come underneath me. Now, this should remind you so much of what we did in the beginning of the class, inhale, reach, I'm gonna to go down onto the frame, exhale, come on back through. Inhale, exhale, inhale, reach, exhale, in and out.

One more each side, and bring it through. Here's how you get up, nod your chin to your chest, lift your arms, feel that intensity and dive over the thighs, not onto them, over them, and then rebuild the spine. For the next exercise, I'm gonna give you two options, 'cause I know everyone doesn't like going upside down, so here's option one, let's all do it together. Roll back. Option one is what I'm gonna call a slow swim, up and up, and you just keep going.

Round Back to Extension

If you're wanting to do an inversion, reach through your arms like he did for teaser, drop back, head rest onto the headrest, arms come to the inside or maybe outside of the frame, whatever feels better for you. Inhale, arms up, shin tucks, exhale, glide those ribs to the hips and rebuild. Let's do it again, exhale roll. So this little low swim, or reach forward, take it back and you have to kind of just let go. You just gotta let go, 'cause if you're trying to hang on, you're gonna feel stuck and rigid, you just got to open it up.

The way that you get up as arms first, chin tucks and over you go, rebuild. All right, short and sweet, here we go. Sit inside pants, square off those hips, one knee bent, lean away and let's do here, fingertips to the forehead. Inhale down, exhale synching to lift, inhale, down and exhale, lift. We've got eight more to do, 12 in total, down and up.

Side Bend

Belly button pulls in from the front. Inhale down, exhale up, four, hips are stacked, so are the shoulders, three, two, and one, take a stretch. With hard work comes reward, breathe it out, I like to do this little wrist cross thing right into the other side. Alrighty. So I feel like you kinda gotta wiggle, you gotta find what feels good and then hold it, fingertips to the forehead.


There's two directions of exercise here, down is one direction and up is the other. So I work to go down and I work to come up, keeping those hips stacked, inhale, down, exhale, up. 12 in total, chin away from the chest, elbows wide, we got this, five, four, three, two, one, and take a twist, cross a wrist, breathe it out, feet in straps, coming out yeah, come on up. Let's put our box away, out of the way. Maybe let's leave that headrest down actually.

Side Bend

let's do short spine. Bar back up, I have two red springs, roll onto your back. So before you put your headrest up, let's do an inversion feet in the long loops. Loops closer to the heels, bend to the toes, push through those legs, arms anchored. Here we go, guys.


It's confusing, but it's worth it. Inhale, lift, deepen the stretch, deepen the stretch, deepen and then exhale, roll to come up. Find your diamond and exhale, roll the whole shape down using the belly to push, rotate back to parallel, don't be in a rush roll up 'cause this is the best, then up, diamond, push your hips away from your shoulders till you feel longer, diamond, take the whole thing down and press last time, big stretch as if someone's pulling your feet and then roll through it. Find the diamond, roll the spine, push it through. If you wanna put your head rest up, you can, it's all about comfort and circles, let's do five in each direction guys, meeting the legs in center, trying to stay in parallel.

Short Spine

You might even think a little internal rotation of the femur. This is the way your hip is designed to move, it's a ball and socket joint, reverse your circles if you haven't already. Three, two, one, straddle. Externally rotate, squeeze those heels to touch, big stretch out to the sides. The work is coming from up high, belly button is drawing down, legs are straight, inner thighs, they're burning.

Leg Circles

Three, this is the last exercise you're gonna do, two and one. Let's slide our feet out, hook up the straps, or you can drop them, you're done with them. Give yourself a roll-up guys. You guys did an awesome job. So a lot of the fusion work that we see in heat and power, even our renew and tone class come from this work that we just did in align.

Straddle Press

This is one of my favorite classes to do. I hope you guys enjoyed it and I'll see you for the next class in the series. Bye.

Pilates with Heart: On the Reformer

This Video
Align, Mobiilze, Traditional, Advanced

Nov 25, 2020
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Courtney Miller
50 min
Reformer w/Box
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3 people like this.
Loved this back to basics with more class. Thank you for helping me through the teaser.
Hildegard V
1 person likes this.
Added to my favorite classes. Just hard enough to be hard but with options for an easier mix.
I always love your classes Courtney. Always inspiring, enjoyable and creative. I also love the energy you bring!
Robin S
2 people like this.
You are my new favorite teacher here. I did one of your classes yesterday. I listen don't watch so I really appreciate good cues, it was easy to follow you and I love the classical amped flare! thank you. 
I'm not able to get the teaser like you but I tried! Maybe if I keep going I'll get there one day. 
1 person likes this.
Amazing class! Feel so rejuvenated. Just what I needed to re-align my spine. Thank you, Courtney! Hope you have more classes like this which are more basic and knee-friendly. 
Love the Align class! Definitely my favorite; not even close. Thank you so much for doing this for us. 
I like the build-up to tendon stretch with the standing stuff first
Really good! Proof one can get into the "zone" without pounding the joints.
Carmen H
Great pace and instruction.....flowed so nicely 
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