Class #4533

Mindful Wunda Chair Flow

25 min - Class


Join Kristi Cooper for a quick, and effective Wunda Chair class. You will move steadily and mindfully from beginning to end to ensure you find your deeper muscle connections. Kristi will cue spring tension by light, medium, heavy to allow you to easily follow along. Get ready to work your glutes and abdominals!
What You'll Need: Wunda Chair

About This Video

Jul 27, 2021
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Hi, everyone. Welcome to PilatesAnytime. Welcome to my class. I'm really happy you're here, I hope you will feel the same way at the end of class, and certainly grateful that you showed up for yourself right now. So the wonder chair, I'll do my best to tell you exactly what tension I have, but every wonder chair is different.

When I'm hoping for is that I'll speak a little bit more in terms of this feels heavy for the exercise we're doing and that you can translate for yourself. That said, we are going to start on the floor. I'm using a balanced body combo chair. And at the moment I have just one black spring at the top of the tree. So from the top down is where I'm attached, Only one spring.

Typically, in this workout I won't be using the white Springs at all. So that's up to you. Shall we begin? Come on down to the ground, sitting close to your chair. And again, you're going to find your way through this whole class.

That's what I love about the chair. Is you really have to work with it. It is not something you sit in. It's not a chair that you sit in and it makes you something else. You are here and you're going to work with it.

So I'll do my best to tell you where I'm going for. As of now, my feet are as flat as I can get them, but I have to be kind of closed to place my hands on the bar. I'm even resting my feet over the where the pedals move. From here, all we're going to do is just inhale. Just like satisfy the fact that you've committed to being here and let's just see what happens after that.

Try to find yourself right up on the sits bones and exhale, just breathe. I'm not doing anything just yet. Then I'm gonna start to think, okay? Which way are my knees pointing? I'm trying to sit up right now.

Having said that if this is already tough, you can turn your legs out. It's not a big deal right now at all. So you could do that or you could sit taller. For now, I'm going to try for straight up. Arms are extended long.

Our backs are straight as we think we can be relatively comfortably. And now this time let's inhale and just gently draw the shoulders down. It might move the bar a little. Exhale, let the bar back up. The idea is that you're just connecting to, really the chair to your body and exhale.

Inhale drawing, I'm really thinking of moving that pedal from my shoulders, but hopefully I'm not thinking too much at all at the moment, just breathing, just bringing myself into the space and what a space it is today. Keep going, I'm just backing up ever so slightly so I feel like I can really draw the pedal not further, but a sense of depth inside my own body. That's what I was moving myself for while staying up straight. Let's just do a few more. I'm just like inhaling and thinking my spine can be longer.

I believe it's true. Let go of whatever else is going on because probably be there later but not now. Right now we've got a few minutes to ourselves to do something else. All right, so I'm near the top or I am at the top, draw down on the pedal just a little and let that not be about the pedal, but more like I want to be upright more. So I have just a tiny bit of tension there.

From there, take an inhale. On the exhale, it's nothing really moves much, but those hip bones, the front hip bones are going to draw back and curve your spine. Maybe the bar move a little. We're not worried about what happens. We're just moving our spine.

Come back up, inhale and exhale. Subtle sense of me driving my heels downwards into the ground, but not my shoulders up into the sky. Inhale and exhale. And inhale and exhale. So as I'm exhaling, there is some resistance on the pedal.

I am thinking of moving the pedal this time with my spine, but it's so subtle. It's hard to even notice that. How about two more? Just kind of getting the sense of what that tuck is and where we're about to go last one here. And come back up.

Let's just stay up again. Drop your knees. However you need to don't worry about where the feet land, rotate the whole arm out. So the thumbs are up toward the ceiling collarbones wide. That's going to be a theme over and over and over again, cause we're kind of working within the frame of the box, so we want, those collar bones to kind of almost mimic it.

All right, palms are up and just again, gently press down. It's not going to go far. If you've got long arms like I do and really not going to go far, otherwise you have to lean back, but I'm just trying to go. Yes, I'm ready, I'm breathing, I'm tall, I can connect. And that's at least part of the point.

Okay, okay. I am bringing my feet back to where they were. I'm going to scoot forward just a bit. Probably I'll adjust that. So all we're doing is just rolling down.

Just leave the bar where it was. Roll yourself down all the way down. And then adjust, knowing you're going to put your feet on the bar. So I should tell you more, right? We're going up into a pelvic curl.

So you'll adjust when you need to, but the point is not going to be to move the bar. So for now, let's just inhale. Keep your knees pointed forward. Kind of relax your feet. I have my heels where they feel secure and I'm just going to roll all the way up.

All the way, go ahead. Oh, it's going to get a little like I'm done. No, you're not. Maybe see if you can push down into the bar little to lift your hips higher and stay long in your spine. Inhale, hold at the top.

Start softening through the front of your body to stretch your spine down further than where you started the initial roll up all the way to let's say neutral, or if you want, you can even extend it if that feels good. Exhale, roll back up. Notice what the backs of your arms help you do. It's okay to use what you need to make the rest of your body efficient. Inhale and exhale roll down.

The pedal is just making our pelvic curl higher. You can put your feet on the floor as well. Watch that you don't roll the feet in or out, up we go. Up we go, up we go. Take a moment at the top or as near the top as you can get without flaring the ribs, drop down a tiny bit, recommit to your, what I would call a tuck, the pubic bone towards sternum.

Square off or tear off your shoulders. Now press into that more. Do you feel your hamstrings? Please say yes wherever you are because they are working for me. And come on down.

Subtle change to that baby. Going back up again, inhale. Exhale and let the breath do as much as it can. Save yourself, when you get to that spot and you know, you can you feel the length in the front and the work in the back, inhale and then exhale, pick up one knee, I'm picking up my right knee and put it back down. Same side, just three here's two.

And down, and again up, oh, what's your neck doing? You can kind of be relaxed. You've got to pay attention to yourself and I'm switching sides. I forget the breath, so I'm excelling up this time, at least. Inhaling down you too.

It's just really got to work for you. We only have one more. Oh, that's a different side, again still. And here we go. Recheck your neck, recheck your position.

We were right back where we started at the top, end of it. And roll all the way down. Take your arms out to a tee position. Knees are together, feet are together. And like you can just lay your arms there and or maybe you need to even bend them if it's too far.

But in any case, take up your space, that's what I'm looking for. Take up your space, reach along so like this to me right now with the eight hour zooming yesterday, I feel it all across, that's okay. It's good, if it's too much, you can just bend the elbows. Here we go, we are with knees together. We are going towards the ocean, going away.

Tilting the knees, I'm just resting my feet, but as I look at my knees are lined up hopefully. Start the exhale around the rib cage and just bring it back or just exhale and let the body do what it knows to do. Other side inhale. Just kind of getting our body ready to go. I wanted to show workouts that are typically a little quicker.

Just kind of easy to Knock them out. That's part of why I love them and they're also can be kind of tough. So we're just going to preparing our mind, our body. And in my case, the spirit for matching the background today. I got one more to the to the front or to the back, however you're saying that away from the ocean and here we are back in the center.

So now just take your arms back down by your side. We're just going to, again, the back of the body is going to be so important for all of our work, but today that's a little bit of the focus because it's really easy to be front focus. Arms or down in straight, heels are on the bar. And we're just trying to activate the back of the legs. A gentle pull, whether the bar moves at all it's not a big deal, right?

It's just the sense of like, I am drawing energy into the back of my legs without changing the spine. Check it out, can you do it. If you're too close, you're just back up a little, if you're really far away, probably it doesn't matter, it's okay. Keep the collarbones wide. It's just us that as we go more into the abdominals and legs even, we are very much always thinking about the backside of the body.

So that's what I'm doing. Just yep, we know it you're there. We're going to keep talking to you the whole time. We're more like that, wallah. Okay, I am going to wiggle back a little because I want to be able to maintain a subtle tension, a downward tension on it.

Take the arms behind your head, lace your fingers together so you're supporting your head and from here, draw the bar down a little. Again, even if you don't actually move the bar do your best to keep energy in the back of the legs. Inhale, we're going to do a chest lift, exhale, curl yourself up. Keep that bar there. If it wiggles a little that's all right.

But the idea is that the back of the legs actually help you get deeper. Come on down. Here's the breath, inhale. Start exhaling, draw yourself up, up, up. Try not to do something weird with your feet and down, which is to say, try to keep them pointed straight up and exhale up, up, up.

It's just the energy in the back of the legs that we're looking for here. So not action on the feet just energy to anchor us. Up and down one more sort of. Oh, don't you hate me when I say that. Exhale curl up, stay up, reach your arms to the back of the legs.

Anchor your tailbone, pull yourself forward. I'm not so focused on pushing down on the bar right now, but I am just knowing I could've if wanted to and then reach both arms forward, both arms up by the ears, replace them behind your head and come down. We can do three of those. Inhale, little energy in the back. Just a thought sometimes is enough.

Exhale, curl yourself up. Inhale, reach the arms to the back of the legs. Curl yourself a little higher by actually using your arms and sinking your belly. Inhale, both arms up by the ears, replacing behind your head and down. I think we promised ourselves three.

Last one inhale, exhale, curl up, curl up, anchor the tailbone. It's just make it feel kind of like okay for you. Not a lot of changes. Curl up a little higher on that next exhale. You know the arms go up, put them behind your head.

Oh, stay here. Exhale, rotate towards me. Inhale stay up, exhale the other way. If you want to have fun with it, just keep going. As you exhale and you rotate, gently press the other foot into the bar.

It helps actually it doesn't make the abs and easier, but it does help anchor your pelvis, which makes actually the abs harder. We're still moving, exhaling to the front. However slowly, letting your head drop back into your hands. Even as you try to lift higher, I'm doing one more per side and over come back to the middle when it's time. Take that inhale, reach to the back of your legs.

Pull yourself up a little bit more. Both arms forward, both arms up by the ears and take yourself all the way down, just resting your arms by your side. All right, we are going to get up. So just hug your knees to your chest first, set yourself up. Let's change our Springs.

So we were on one top one. And again, you're going to have to decide. I'm going for heavy, we're going to do some foot and leg work. So I'm adding another spring and oh, I'm being ambitious for me today, but I am going to put a second spring on. It's just one down from the top.

That's what I'm at. Then we sit on our chairs, take a good look around and decide what you need out of the rest of the workout because we're moving on. Heels are on feet knees everything's parallel and you're as upright as possible not forward, not back. Arm over arm, push the bottom one into the top one and use that as the sense of opening up and almost again mimicking this square of the chair. Here we go, we press down one, pull it up, two, three, four.

You know, all the details. Just do it right. Keep the shape for today. If you're a counter, good luck, let me know. Last one, hold it down.

You can use your hands back your feet up to the bars of the feet. I'm doing 10 to 15 usually or nine. We'll see, I wouldn't worry about it. Let's just go together. Lift the heels, pull the bar all the way up if you can, switch the arms, if you remember which one it was and here we go.

We press down, oh, here's the tricky part. The heels don't move once they get going. So you're not flexing the ankle much. Four-ish five-ish, up. You can even go faster than me and do more.

You could go slower than me and really work technique. I'm working out right now for us and hope you'll join. Next one, hold it down. Swivel so that the heels touch adjust if you need to, meaning you're slipping back. So I'm now in that plot V set yourself up.

Kind of have to check some times. If you don't have a mirror teacher in front of you, hands behind your head sometimes helps you even think of lifting up. We don't need to overdo the elbows wide. Keep those heels kind of high and down we go push the bar. How about four more, one, we'll keep those toes on.

Well, I'll call that four. Then, go down again heels wide, heels wide. Bring the bar up. I'm going to take hands behind my head. You can always keep them down and just support yourself with the chair.

I'm going to take it behind my head because if I don't want to just stay pressing down and facing forward, I could also turn as I press. So that's where I'm headed, so you decide. Here we go, we'll go together to the front. Exhale, rotate. Keep both hips down, inhale center, a little or this way.

Isn't it exciting? Nice to look around. I'm going to give us four more or is my good friend Mary would say two more. This is it last two, a third one and here's the fourth one for me, cool. Now then, let's push it down go back to that parallel position to follow the foot again.

Yes, let's go knees together. Here's the fun part. I'm going to scoot forward a little bit more. Good idea, Christie. And we're going to lift those toes or heels, I'm sorry heels.

Then bring the bar up or your legs up better said to what feels like 90 and I actually have to touch or put a pull so I know, but I'm gonna try to keep my more working legs going here and just push the bar flex already. So the idea is that it's really coming from the feet from the calves rather than me moving it from my legs. So maybe hold you just try to keep it the thighs still and help do a better job myself. Let's do five. Fully flex, so that's the key, the deceleration really flex.

I am sure there's only two more or one. So you'll do what you need to do there. And I will finish with that one. Cool, right on. So we're just gonna move right into more ab work and we we're kind of prepped for it.

We're going to go into the pike right away here. So turn yourself around. Some of us are gonna want to keep this spring. I'm going to keep it for today. Some of you will feel like you're getting pitched up.

So if you're not used to the exercise get used to it first, lighter is actually harder because you're really not, you're not letting the spring help you so much. Key here is really in everything is the setup. So we press the bar down, hands go forward. I'd like to turn them sideways. So that's how I'm gonna cue it.

Turn those arms side was all on there all the way to the far end for me. I stabilize that square chair position, realign the spine meaning I'm rounding it so that my shoulders are over my wrists. Head down, body long. And then from there, if you're up for it, you're going to go to your arches of your feet. Otherwise keep bar on your feet on and don't let the heels flare to either side, we go.

Exhale, like somebody pulled you up right from the sternum and you'd almost fold into yourself. And then you peel back down. It's really like that pelvic curl we already did. Exhale up, kind of light on the arms. If they stay straight, it works out.

If you flatten your back, you're going to get pitched and have the buckle. So let's think about that. It's like you're peeling into yourself. Look towards your belly, lift the hips. Like you're about to take your feet off and do a handstand.

You're that strong, we're not. I mean, we are of course strong, but you know what I mean. That's the intent. Even as you go down and you're like, no, I don't want to go. How about two more?

Hand down and one more, and down. Yes, carefully cause it's still heavy, remember. We're going to let that bar come up and relax. Okay, we're going to do another version of that to the each. So I'm just put my hair up for a second.

Get it out of the way. It makes it more fun, I can see what I'm doing. And then, once again, you're going to this time place one foot on again, put your hands forward like before, grab it for now the same area so you can get that bar all the way down. Step the other foot on and just swivel to face front. So for me, the leg furthest away from the actual seat of the chair is in front.

The other leg is back. I'm doing my best to keep them parallel. You could certainly turn them out, so don't worry about that. Here's the fun part really. You can take those hands now at the side edge or the front edge of the side, however you want to say that.

And again, shift your whole, So you turn, you want to square those shoulders off as best you can in front of your wrist or over your wrist. That means your thigh is going to be right close to the chair itself, very close. And they try to stay that way because you're going to probably want to swing away. Here we go, it's the exact same exercise. So you are stabilized in those shoulders, you start the exhale and it's just like, something's reaching up under those ribs to lift you up, adjust your feet if you need to, your head is down.

And inhale, slide down, keep the leg close to the chair, number two. Let's go over six. Oh, it's so tempting to bend those elbows, here's three. Let the breath move you. It's not as much energy as it might seem it needs.

And again, and just sit down, face front you have to switch the legs this version I'm doing. Take it to the other side. So adjust yourself so that for now, like furthest from the chairs in front today, hands are on the chair, stabilize yourself. You know where you're going, right? So sometimes I inched my foot on the inner edge of the foot bar, just to tip right over those wrists as best you can, know where you're going, be ready and up we go.

I think we're ready and adjust your feet and inhale. It's like rotating that body and strengthening it, three to go. Nice and tight, stay close. Stay over yourself, strong one more. And down.

Good, go ahead and just don't cross the feet. Keep a bar, press down. Let the bar up. And we are going to change things to go to the side stretch. So, let's change the springs.

Next one doesn't require so much tension. So I'm going to take off the one I added earlier. So I'm back to that, just one spring from the top. Again, you can go lower if you want. So for this version of the side stretch, I'm sitting more or less on the side of my hip rather than straight upright.

It's kind of off to the side and the angle that other leg has just one long line, okay. And then find your hand on the bar. You can hug the front of the chair or not, but sometimes it's nice. Other hand behind your head for now and just inhale, oh, come on and stretch over. Exhale and lift and notice what your neck does I just kind of caught myself looking up at the sky and that's all right.

It's pretty better, same time I'm looking for a long neck so it's kind of matching what my spine is doing. And more words. Try to keep your toe on the ground. The one that's already down there, keep it there. It doesn't slide and do anything.

You can make your range of motion shorter if you want and lift ,notice I'm not coming all the way up, you could, but I'm not. That'll be my last one. We're going to go down and take it where you can, where you feel like your hips are stacked toes on the ground, et cetera. And then just reach that arm longer. And imagine someone was holding your leg down and you are going to reach away from it, not from the hand or the wrist or anything above that but from the ribs, reach further, reach further, reach further.

Let that top arm go to the pedal, adjust the other one so it feels semi-normal to you and just roll up a little bit, roll down a little bit, roll up a little bit, roll down a little bit, roll up a little bit or all the way to the top and even pull on it. Keep that toe down and try and extend your upper back. Just a little and release it. Help yourself out gently swivel around the other side. Wow, I should have been up here the whole time.

Sitting on the side, leg as long. Find your alignment, so you feel like you could just reach out on a one long diagonal, arm goes to the pedal. Other on behind your head. Use that as a measure for how long your neck is. Off we go, Inhale down, exhaling up.

Keep it going. Sometimes I think of this as I come up, it's like a subtle, almost like I'm pressing the palm of my hand toward my armpit. It's probably too much to think about when really it's just staying connected like we started. Go a little further each time if you can. Again, it's not about the pushing the pedal, certainly not about the arm is what can your spine do for you as you move the pedal.

That's do to more like this or at the pace you're at on the second one stayed down there. And this is where that imaginary person is drawing your leg away from you. Neck is long, blah, blah, and then reach the arm, reach the arm . The bottom shoulder is just tucked in where it needs to be to support you. Reach further from the ribs further, can you go lower?

Not because you need to push the arm that's on the bar, but because your spine what it. Then rotate, both hands on the bar. I have to move the one that was down back a little bit, just to make it feel seminormal. And we come up, it's not very big. Push down, we come up, we push down, one more up, and down and up.

Help yourself up. And then we'll do some back extension, zit gang. Leaning forward I don't think we need to change the spring. You could go later, but it's just one of those things. You try to rely as little on the spring as you can and it won't really matter on this one so much how much is there.

Lean into it, hand goes to the bar, other hand to the bar. I typically like to push it down and find my hip bones on the chair a little bit then with your legs reaching back, so they're not hanging out. That would just be lack of good time. Here we go, reach those come off to what feels like a long line of your body, like you're doing a pushup. Okay, like you're doing a pushup.

Let's do a pushup. So nothing else changes, but you bend the elbow straight back, like a tricep push-up and let them extend. But don't go up or down. You don't collapse, you don't lower. You don't lift.

Push and push and push. That's how in control you are, I'm doing a couple more, do as many as you want. And then I'll meet you with straight arms next rep. From there, those legs stay where they are. Energize them.

Remember how we started in the beginning. You want to feel the back of your body, not because you're bending them because they're long and then you just start to look forward and allow the pedal to bring you up. But keep those legs up to and go back to where you started. If you feel like it was too big of an arch, you can swivel back or scoot back a little, but try to start from that straight place, looking forward, lifting up, up, up and down, do your best to not drop those legs. And I can tell you right now, I am doing my best I know where they're, but they're working.

And down, just three more. This is the anti daily life exercise. Two more, One more. The front of the body is working a little, not a lot, but a little. Oh, are you happy? Bend your knees.

Straighten your legs, this is it. Go back down with the bar held with one hand, know that you're going to do that cause it feel heavy after that. And then just shimmy back or put one foot back, stand yourself up and let's just finish with a roll down. That's the beauty of the chair. You get a little bit of this, a little bit of that.

Just like that. Inhale, fill yourself up, take up your space. Take a few world. Cause you're about to be back in it. Exhale round forward.

Hang the arms, hang the head, hang anything you can, but know that you're supporting yourself directly from the center. And then roll back up. Not too much thought other than shake out what you need to, once you get there, feel good about the time you took for yourself and I hope to see you again soon. Thank you so much.

Pilates with Kristi Cooper: Wunda Chair Workouts


Lynzi D
2 people like this.
Love more chair workouts.  Thank you
Gisela G
Just the class I was looking for today - short and condensed! Thank you! And everything looks so pretty
Gisela G Thank you! 
Lynzi D Thank you. We have a few chair classes coming soon! 
Christine S
1 person likes this.
Inspiring as usual Kristi. Thank you x
1 person likes this.
Thank YOU, Kristi.  Just what my body needed today,  THE CHAIR!  Looking forward to more chair workouts.
Linda S
1 person likes this.
Thank you! nice chair class
Love this chair class
Wendy B
Awesome chair class Kristi! You always make it look so effortless! My body thanks you and YES I did indeed feel my hamstrings,  thank you!! 🤗
Thank you!! Love your calm explanations and pin point cues! Great class!
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