Fun fact. It's been over a year since I've had regular access to a reformer. So I'm very excited to be on this reformer today to make this class for you. And what we're gonna do, or what my intention is any way for this class, is to work simple and deep and do all of my very favorite things. So I hope you like my favorite things as much as I like my favorite things.
Here we go. So we're gonna stand on just at the foot bar side of the reformer. And I want you to... I have a blue spring attached to my reformer, and I want you to stand just back enough for you to be able to do a full roll down. I just want you to stand on both feet.
And let's all just close our eyes for a moment. And you can take this moment of pause to bring yourself into your space, make a commitment to your movement practice. I'm feeling the weight of my feet against the earth or against this platform, which is attached to the earth, but that's okay. So what we're gonna do as we open our eyes is we're gonna take our arms out wide and we're gonna lift our arms and lift our chest. And if you want, you could imagine that you're standing on the beach with the wind rushing past you and reach out wide.
It feels amazing. Reach all the way out and then take the arms down. And then let the knees soften and begin articulating down through your spine so we're rolling. Just rounding down again, connecting into the feet, lifting through the center of the body and then rolling back up. So rounding the spine, rounding the spine, rounding the spine, stacking the body up.
And as the spine comes up, the legs can straighten and we'll take the arms around and up again. And then we'll take the arms back wide again, so reach way out, take up a lot of space. And then arms down. And inhale. And bring the chin to the chest.
And I just wanted to tell you, as we roll down, having an immense feeling of gratitude right now to be here, to be connected with all of you again. We're rolling up. Standing up. Both feet on the earth. One more time, arms around and up.
Feels like I'm flying right now. And out to the side. And down and around. So quality of sensation is a very real thing. We can create quality of sensation.
And in this moment, I'm thinking soft, rounding and grounded. Rolling up. And standing up. And step into the reformer and put your hands on the box. And round your spine.
And then we're gonna take the spine out and down. So we're using the spinal movement to stretch the spring. But pulling up away from the foot bar with my abdominals, then I'm gonna articulate back through. So I'm pressing forward with my arms as I bring the carriage back. And inhale, taking the spine out long and down.
And exhale. Feel there's activity in your feet. Push into the floor, push into the earth, push forward with your arms to maximize that spinal bending. One more time like this. Reach out.
And round. And then when the carriage is in, take both hands to the left of the box and go out and over to the left. And then round back in. So the pelvis is squared, but the body goes down in a way. Leaning.
And back. The body goes down in a way. Lots of support through the center of the body, please and round. And center. And take the hands to the right of the box.
Just wherever it feels comfortable to you and reach out with your spine and lean. Take your gaze underneath that arm that you're turning towards. And then round back in. And reach out. And back in.
And reach out. Inhaling. And come back. And now bring one hand to either side of the box again and reach straight down the middle again, one last time. You should be able to go a little further and bend the arms.
And stretch the spine in the direction of the arms as the arms press and bend. Scapula draws down as the box goes away and bend. And stretch. And inhale. And exhale.
One more time. Inhale and exhale. And then ripple through your spine. Come all the way back to standing on your feet. And once you're on your feet, lift your hands off the box and stand up.
So we're gonna remove the box. And we'll set up for, oh, actually, we're gonna keep that blue spring and we're gonna start facing the back of the reformer or continue onwards facing the back of the reformer. And I want us to take the straps in our hands. So blue spring, you could use a red if you want to. We're gonna bend the arms.
Open the arms out to the side. As the arms come in front, we round the spine. And with the arms reaching forward, we roll back onto the carriage. Rounding down into our chest, lift position and inhale. (Meredith inhales) And exhale as we lift back up.
So not using the springs to help, but using the springs to make that movement pattern more depth, more depthy, the more in depth. Bend your arms, lift your spine. Straighten your arms, take your arms around the front and roll back. Exhale. Feel the feet pushing down into the reformer.
Feel the thighs squeezing towards one another and inhale. And lifting. And bringing the shoulders over the pelvis and bending the arms. And open the arms and reach forwards. Now, we're gonna go down.
We're gonna pause when we arrive. Now, we're gonna do a tiny little upward curl and back. I want you to see if you can move your spine without moving the carriage very much. It's difficult. And lift.
So deepen and down. And deepen and down. Let's say four more. Up. Work the down as well.
And three, use your breath. And down, push down with your feet, two. And down. One more time. Up.
Down. Now all the way up. Shoulders come over the pelvis, the elbows bend, we come up straight. The arms open out to the side and then we round and reach our arms forwards. And as you exhale, go back again.
Feel the feet connected together. Feel the knees connected together. When you get to the bottom, rotate to the right. Lift up the right side of the body, and down. And forward.
Small. So you're trying to find your spinal bending without doing a lot of rocking and rocking in the carriage. We're doing four more after this and that's a total of eight by my account, just in case I miscount on the other side. And three. And two.
And one and go down. And center and lift. I'm smiling because I'm happy. Go forward. Shoulders come over the pelvis.
The elbows bend. The arms straighten. We reach forwards. Out here with the bees and the butterflies, seagulls, Nicole. Go down and go into a rotation.
Nicole is our amazing behind the scenes person that you never see, but she does more work than anyone. That's a promise. Forward. And down. And forward.
And I love seeing her. And forward and down. I believe that was four. So that means four more. And down.
And three. And down, working both directions, two. And down, last time, up. And come into the center and come up in the center. Bring the shoulders over the pelvis, bend your arms.
Sometimes the very simplest things, straighten, can be the most intense. In fact, that's kind of what I believe all the time. So we're gonna lengthen out through the legs. So they're kind of in a long diamond shape now. Take the straps.
Now I'm holding just where the two sets of straps come together. You could also hold onto the ropes. The arms are gonna start straight, we're sitting upright, and I want us to start rotation to the right with the trunk first and then follow through by bending that right arm. And center. So when I mean start rotation, you just engage.
Start thinking about going in that direction. The arm moves right away. And center. And lift as you're twisting. The other arm doesn't have any spring against it, doesn't have any tension.
But I want you to feel that it's active, it's reaching. And center. One arm bends, one arm's actively reaching. And center. Reach for something that you imagine, that you desire.
And center. And one more. And center. And last time. And all the way in.
So we're gonna hang the straps up. Set up what you would like to do your foot work on. So my choice is three reds, one blue. You'll make your choice. I'm sure of it.
And then we're gonna come down onto the reformer, placing the heels on the foot bar. I'm lifting my headrest up 'cause that's my preference. So what I want us to think about is not just pushing with the feet. So what I want you to do instead is push into the bar without moving the carriage yet. So you feel the backs of your legs engaged, now move.
And bend. And feel the backs of the legs. And bend. So both legs working evenly. And in.
And out. And in. And out. And in. And four.
Working this spring in both directions, three, keeping that nice flat foot position, two. And back. And one. And back. And moving to the toes.
Feet are hip width distance apart, ribs are down. Press out. Keeping the feet nice and aligned. And in. Keeping the heels still out.
And back. Out to fully straight knees, lifting the kneecaps with the quadriceps as the legs extend to prevent the knee from going into hyperextension. And in. I hope you don't mind if I close my eyes. The sun is in my eyes.
That's why they're closed. And out. And in. And four. Come back.
And soft ribs. Use your breath, find your center. And two. So this is like meditation in motion. And one.
And in. And heels together, toes apart. And press out and draw back. And stretch. And come in.
And out. And back. And wrapping through the hips. And in. And out.
And in. Four more. Reaching out. Bending. Three more.
Out. And in. Feel the heels zip together, zip through the inner thighs, zip through the center of the body. And in. I lost count even though I was saying the numbers out loud.
We'll do what one more. And back. From here, take the feet to the outside of the bar. Feel the heels pull towards one another in space that sets us up to find our inside legs, our inner thighs. And we reach out.
And in. And out. So just creating rhythmic movement. And breath. And in.
And lengthen. What are the arms doing? Reaching. What are the shoulder blades doing? Widening.
And in. And five. Working the springs in both directions. Four. And pull.
And three. And in. And two. Sometimes if I think about it just right, Pilates can feel like a dance. Or one thing just is the next thing and then is the next thing.
And we come down all the way and move to the toes and press out. And in. And reach. And bend. And exhale.
And inhale. Inner thighs, hamstrings, long arms, long spine. And out. So many things to think about, meditation in motion, soft and active and heavy and light, quality of sensation. And in.
One more time. Out. And back. Coming back to the center of the bar. Parallel.
Reach out, take the heels under. All the way and up. And all the way under. And feel that when you lift your heels, you're lifting from the entire backside of your leg. And under.
And up. And cool, stretching the toes over the bar as the heels drop under. And up. And five. And lift.
And down. And lift. And three. And up. Working both ways.
And up. And one. And alternate, down lift. Down lifting as you reach one foot down and press up on the other foot. Notice where the pelvis is in space.
Is it rocking from side to side? Is it actively stabilizing? The answer should be actively stabilizing. It stays still as we move through our feet, get that nice range through both feet. Three more to each side, here's one.
And one. And press into the toes of the foot on the bar, the bent knee one. And one. And pause. Taking one foot down, just allowing that stretch to happen.
Reaching the heel under the bar. Keep reaching the heel down as you start bending the knee, allow the stretch to travel up a little higher. And then take the heel back through. And then change sides. Reaching the heel down.
It's interesting. I don't oftentimes exercise with my eyes closed. And bend the knee. But it's kind of nice. Kind of nice.
Lets me really focus more deeply inwards. As soon as I'm not looking into the sun, I will open my eyes again. And come all the way in. So we're gonna take the feet. Now, again, disclaimer, I haven't been on a reformer for a while, so we're gonna see if this works.
Take your feet over the foot bar. Lift your head up. Roll up. Oh, I can still do it. That's exciting news.
Bend your knees and hold the bar and lift your chest and lean back. I honestly wasn't sure. Take the spring to one red and one blue. Roll back down. Pick up the straps.
Press out a little bit with the feet. Take the arms just over the shoulders. Very simple here today, my friends. Lift the knees. Now, curl the head and chest forwards.
Take the arms up and bring the head down. And curl. Head and chest forward. Pushing out with the arms. Now, lift the arms up, but keep the height of the trunk.
And down. And curl. Three. And lift the arms. And take the body down.
And curl, two. And lift the arms. And take the body down. And one. Curl.
And lift the arms and take the body down. And lift. Hold. Take one leg down and change. And reach.
And change. And three. And three. And two. And two.
And one. And one. Both knees in. Take the legs out straight. And pull.
And reach out straight. Active, dynamic. And reach out straight. And pull. Two more.
Out. Are you lifted up? And in. And out. And hold.
Take the arms up, put the head down. Bring your feet into the straps. Heels together, toes apart, arms down. And we take the legs forward. And in.
And think of pulling back with your abdominals with your waist. Like your body is glued to the reformer and the reformer's not moving because your legs are pushing it. It's moving because your body's pulling it in. Your legs are reaching out kind of as a second thought. And bend.
And three. Oh, keep the heels together, Meredith. And two. And bend. And one.
Point the feet. Go down. Around. Together. Keeping the pelvis down.
Down. Out. Around. Together. Drawing even circles.
Down. Out. Around. Together. Where else can you work out and get a tan at the same time?
I don't know. I suppose lots of places. And down. Out. Around.
And center. And push. Open. Around. Together.
Two more. Push. Open. Around. Together.
Oh, but evenly, Meredith. One. Out. It's interesting to watch here as the legs come together. Do they come together at exactly the same rate?
Mine don't like to. Down and away now. Up through the center. Open. Push down.
Feel the work. Start, initiate in the legs, then the feet move. And up. So we find the muscle that we wanna move with and then move. And down.
Together. And up. And down. Together. And up.
And last two. And lift. And one more. So now we're gonna bend the left knee and reach the right leg out. And then pull to center.
And bend the right knee, reach the left leg out. And pull to center. So in this movement, it's tempting when your legs come back together to wanna push with the bent knee. But I want you to pull with your straight leg as your focus instead. Bend and reach.
Pelvis stays squared. And together. Let's do two more to each side. Bend, reach and pull. And bend, reach and pull.
One more. Inhale. And exhale. And inhale. And exhale.
If your headrest is up, take it down. Bend your knees. Short spine. Take the legs out in front and point the feet. Bring the legs over the body.
Bring that carriage in. In, in, in, in, in. And lift up. So we bend the knees, keeping the feet over the face, take the pelvis down. In order to keep the carriage still, you have to drop your thighs down next to your ribs and I do want you to keep the carriage still.
Then flex the feet. This shape comes through the pelvis drops. And we straighten the knees and we lift the legs up over the body. And now we roll the spine up. And bend the knees.
And roll away from your feet, dropping the thighs down next to the body. Really focusing on that strong abdominal support and then bring the legs through and stretch. One more. Fold. Inhale.
Stand in your straps all the time, it'll help you feel the back of your legs. Exhale, roll up. Continue to stand in your straps with your feet as you bend your knees. So we're active. Active movement all the time, roll down.
Nothing's ever very lazy. Dropping the thighs, flexing the feet, take it through. Now, bring your straps into your hands. Lift the soles of the feet towards the heavens. Put your elbows on the insides of your knees.
Pull down with your arms as you press out on your knees with your hands and just do a gentle rock side to side. Told you my favorite things. I hope you enjoy them. And we'll just do that one more time. One side and then the other.
And then we're gonna slip the feet out of the straps. Hang them up. Reach your knees out over your foot bar, lift your head and chest. Roll up. Find the bar.
Let the knees fold over the bar as you pull and then lift your spine. All right. Moving right along. Let's take the blue spring away. So just have the one red.
Pull up the pants moment. And we'll get going. So the right foot goes just on the outside of the frame of the reformer or one foot goes on the outside. I'm on my right, so that's what I said. The knee is on the carriage.
The hands are on the foot bar. What I want us to do is lift the spine and bend that right knee right over that right ankle. And just pause here and we'll breathe. Three. feeling the stretch through the front of the body, two.
And one. Now we're gonna take that leg that's on the carriage and we're gonna lift it, straighten that knee. And as you bend it again, you're gonna try and get a little deeper into that hip flexor stretch, we're gonna do that twice more. Lift the knee. And bend the knee.
And lift the knee. And now take that front leg out. Hopefully squaring the hips. I'm trying my hardest. And now bend the front knee, bend the back knee and come in all the way.
And step off. And travel to the other side of the reformer. Bringing the foot up against the shoulder blocks, tucking the toes under. Both hands on the foot bar, finding, dropping down into that hip flexor stretch, squaring the hips, lifting the spine. Enjoy.
It's a suggestion, not a command. And we're gonna take that leg out and back. And then bend and try to drop a little deeper. My front leg is still the same. Out and back with the knee just over the ankle on that side.
And bend. And out and back. And now... Oh, bend one more time. Now we go.
Out. I mean, take that front leg out, straight. Both legs are active. I'm actively pushing back into that shoulder block. I bend my friend knee, lift the chest, bend the back knee.
Come in, come onto your knees. Both feet against the shoulder blocks. Pelvis comes forward. Arms, pressed back. And push back with your legs as you lift up into that foot bar and push back.
And lift up. In, in, in and up. And push back. And in, in, in and up. Active through the legs and push back.
And in, in, in and up. Now, keep the carriage still, round your spine. Straighten your spine. Push back with your legs, lift through your spine, round your spine, straighten your spine. Legs press.
We come through one more time, round your spine. Straighten your spine. Legs press. Pelvis drops. Body comes through.
We're gonna step up. Bring the feet against the shoulder blocks. Find a long spine and take the carriage back. And in. (Meredith inhales) And out.
You might want a heavier spring than this, but I'm just keeping my spring on that red spring, just for the sake of flow. And it feels nice with a red and a blue. And out, scapula wide. And down here, in. One more.
Out. And in. We're gonna come back down. We're gonna turn the body towards the back. We're gonna take the straps into our hands.
We're gonna come up into our chest expansion position and impress back with the arms. And forwards. And back. And forwards. And pull back through the center of the body.
And back. And forward. Last five. Working in both directions. Four.
Three. Two. One. Now, push back. Push down and lift your spine.
Come back. Bring your arms forward. Push back. Push down and extend the thoracic spine. Come back.
Come forward. Stalling, it's hard. Push back. Push down. Just true, real.
Center. And for two more, push back, reach down, lift. Come back, return. Last time. Push back, push down, lift.
Come back, return. Sit down. Change the spring. Want a blue spring, instead of a red. Bring the hands onto the frame.
Keep your thumbs with your fingers so you don't run yourself over. Bring your shoulders forward of your hands. Round your spine. And now what I want us to think about is not moving from the hips, but rather trying to bend the spine more to bring the knees forward. And back.
And bend the spine. So this strong abdominal connection here. And curl the carriage. And back. And pull from the waist.
And back. And pull from the waist. And back. We're gonna do four more. There's one.
And in. And two. Wide shoulder blades. And in. And deep.
And back. And one. And back all the way to come in. Turn around, put your feet up against the shoulder blocks. Sit down on your feet.
I'm just holding onto my shoulder blocks for a minute, giving my toes that stretch. Then we're gonna collect the straps, come up onto the knees, take the arms up. And out. And lift. And reach out wide.
And lift. And pressing forward with the backs of the legs to help stabilize the spine and the pelvis forward. And around and down. And forward. And around and down.
We're just gonna do two more. Forward, up, around and down. And one more. Forward. Up.
Around and down. Untuck your toes. Sit down on your feet, put the straps away. Okay, so we're gonna change the blue back to our red. And we're gonna turn to bring the feet onto the carriage.
You might be thinking we're going into long back stretch, but that's not what we're doing. What we're doing instead is just standing on the reformer. I want you to stand into your hands. Now lift your pelvis just off the bar and then bend your arms and straighten. And inhale.
And straighten. So what's nice about this exercise that gets prepared for the long back stretch and we can use our legs to help support the rate of the body over the arms. Good, five. And four. And three.
And two. And one. Sit back down, step off. And let's take the foot bar down. Collect the foot strap, get it ready.
Go get your box. Put it on the reformer. Okay. Bring your foot underneath the strap. Your other knee onto the box with you, reach down and put your hand on the headrest.
So what I'm doing with my straight leg is I'm lifting up into that heel and instead of turning up with my toes. So real talk here, I'm not gonna bring both hands behind my head today. I haven't done this in a really long time, so I'm gonna be kind to myself and do it from here. So you can choose what you wanna do to yourself. This hand goes back, we go down.
And up. And inhale. And up. I'm just gonna do five. Inhale.
Stretch and lift. And inhale. And stretch and lift. One more. Inhale, down.
Exhale, lift. Gonna put the arm down, reach down to the floor or put your elbow on the headrest and just take that arm overhead and stretch, pushing out through the leg in the opposite direction. (Meredith exhales) Bringing the hands around. Turning the body and finding that back stretch. And then use your arms to help you out of that shape.
Turn sides. I'm glad I made that choice for myself today. Would have been really, really difficult otherwise. So I think it's important to make healthy choices for yourself in any given moment. So the one arm, the upper arm is straight.
I like to have my hand on the headrest to start 'cause it helps me find my shape. Now once I'm in that shape, then I hold the shape and bring the hands and then we go inhale, down. And exhale, lift. And inhale, down. And exhale to lift.
And inhale, down. And exhale to lift. There's just two more. Make sure your toes aren't pointing towards the sky. Down and up.
And down. And up. And down. And reach. And rotate.
And come up. Take the box and turn it long ways. That made me happy. That brief moment of extreme happiness. Okay.
So I honestly wasn't sure what was gonna happen there. So we go back to one spring. Let's do a red. And we're gonna take the foot bar back up. And we're gonna come...
I just want to make sure my box is straight. We're gonna come onto the box. Place the hands on the foot bar, lengthen your legs out behind you. And then we're just gonna feel the scapula draw down and we take the arms out. And we bend and pull out and wide with the arms to come in.
And press down through the scapula to take the arms out and pull. So I'm just in a little bit of back extension in this moment. But I'm thinking mostly of working through my upper mid-back. My legs are active. Abdominals are active.
We're doing two more. Keep the elbows just slightly below the wrists. And one more. Holding. Nope, we'll do the full.
We'll come all the way in. And then we're gonna go out and now we're gonna keep our arms straight and we're gonna lift up. lifting up through the spine, keeping the legs lifted and down. And lift the spine. And down.
When we're like that, lift the spine. And down. Now this time as we lift the spine, we're gonna lift the spine and bend the knees and reach out with the legs. And lift the spine and bend the knees and reach out with the arms. One, and the legs.
Last one. Go out to straight legs, bend your arms to come in. While you're here, change the red to a blue. Step off the box, come around to the front. We'll finish the way we started.
Come full circle. So putting the hands down onto the box, finding deep flection. Reaching out through the spine, taking that body down nice and low. And then rolling, undulating through the spine. And rippling, reaching out and down.
And now hold here and bend your knees a little. And straighten. And bend the knees a little. And straighten. And bend the knees a little.
And straighten. And then round, tucking from the lowest part of the spine. Come all the way in, press out one last time. All the way through that extension, beautiful extension. Feeling the weight of the heels against the earth.
And around. And come up. And once you're in, continue upwards, bringing your arms up as a continuation of your spine, lifting up, lifting the eyes, the hearts, opening wide. Go slow, enjoy. And come all the way...
All the way down. Close your eyes. We're standing in the spot where we closed our eyes before. Do you feel different? I do.