Class #459

Reformer Core Flow Challenge

50 min - Class


Kathy Corey is back with her Reformer Core Flow Challenge. She effortlessly teaches you a fluid program that takes pieces of what you already know from your training and challenges you with choreography and variations. Use all the tools you have learned in previous lessons to stay present in your mind and body during this fun class full of great progression.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Jun 07, 2011
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Today we're going to do a reformer program that is an intermediate program that challenges the work that you have already learned. So this program is for you after you have already completed the leg and footwork program, the core challenging program, the hundreds, and all of the things that you really know from your training. This program takes it a little step further. It's called Reformer Core Flow Challenge. And it really does challenge the core, and it is a fluid program.

So what we are going to do is put together pieces that you've already learned and that you've already practiced and make it more of a choreography and a challenge at the same time. So what we are going to do is we'll start with two medium springs, either two red or red and a blue, whichever you would like. Head rest is in the small upper position. Foot bar is up. So we'll begin by sitting on the end of the reformer, placing the feet all the way on the wood bar, making a nice, long lift in the spine, and contracting and rolling the body down one vertebra at a time so that as we roll, we make contact with the carriage.

And we take a nice deep breath and lift one knee up. And lift the other leg up. We'll extend both legs high to the ceiling. Now, anchoring deep in the core, we're going to now bend the legs and place them on to the foot bar. From here, just to warm up the feet, we're going to lift the heels up and then roll and lower them down.

Lift the heels up. Roll and lower them down using all of the alignment that we have learned in all of our programs before we begin. And now we're going to lift the heels up and hold them there, and extend the legs out. From this position, we're going to stay out. And both heels are going to roll under the bar, rolling down and lifting up.

And rolling down, we'll do this four times, lifting up. Inhale down. Exhale using the core to pull you up, not pushing from the feet but really anchoring. Now, hold it up and now one heel under. We're going to do our running.

So one heel under, and change, and roll, and change, and roll, and change. One more set. Roll, and change. Hold the heels high, and bend the knees in. Now from this position, we're going to repeat that.

But this time, instead of four presses, we're going to do two. So press it out, and heels down one, and lift. Two and lift. Roll, one, two, three, and four, and heels down, and up. Let's repeat it.

Heels down and up, roll, roll, roll, and again, heels go down to lift down. Now pulling up through the core, roll through the foot. Make sure it's smooth and even. And the heels, lift your heels. Lift and roll, roll, roll, one more time.

Heels down and pull from the core. Nice deep breathing, use the breath. And roll, and exhale, and inhale, and exhale. Hold the heels high. Slowly, on a count of four, begin to lower the heels under the bar.

Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. Keeping those heels down and under the bar, soften the knee. And bend the legs in with the heels down to get that nice, long, beautiful stretch all the way through. The next section is in our single leg series. And again, this exercise came from the original programming that I learned in the New York studio.

But we're going to break down the pattern so that once again we feel the fluidity in the body before we do the single leg stretch. So we're going to extend one leg out, and the other leg is bent. Now, it gets a little bit tricky, but what we are going to do is as we extend this leg, we're going to bend the opposite leg and extend it to the ceiling. We're going to bend it again and bend to go back out. We'll do that four times.

And in and up, and bend and extend. In, lengthen, bend, extend. In, lengthen, bend, extend. One more time, in, up, and bend. Change sides.

Now use your breath with it, and inhale two, exhale. Inhale and exhale. Make sure the shoulders are relaxed, the neck is long. Two more times, in and up, and in. We're going to watch the pelvis.

Make sure we stay in a nice neutral pelvis all the way through. And place the foot on the bar. Let's do the next part of the exercise, which is we'll go in and up, and now we're going to stay here. Now flex and point both feet at the same time. Flex and point, very nice.

And flex and point. Two more times, flex and point. One more time, flex. Now hold the point on both feet, and lower the straight leg to the bar. Lower, lift it up.

We'll do that four times. Lower, lift up. Lower, and lift, and lower, and lift. Do your bend and extend to complete and change sides, remembering all the time that you really are maintaining your core alignment, using your breath, and using all of the tools you have learned through your Pilates lessons. Let's begin again.

Bend it and extend it. And flex, and point. Nice deep breathing, flex and point. Don't push off the foot, but really roll through the foot and use the core to complete. Lower and lift, maintaining that core alignment and stable pelvic alignment as well.

And bend to complete. All right, now we are ready to challenge the mind. Remember, Pilates is body, mind, and spirit. Well, this gets all three of them going at the same time. And here we go.

It's one of each. Bend and extend. Flex, point. Lower, lift, and bend. Extend.

Again, bend, extend. Flex, point. Lower, lift, bend, extend. Two more, in, up, flex, point. Lower, lift, bend.

One more time, in, up flex, and point. And lower, lift, and bend, and extend. And change sides. I have to say, this is the one Pilates exercise that almost ended my Pilates career about 31 years ago because I couldn't get it. I kept flexing when I should have been pointing and lowering and lifting at the wrong time.

And they finally just said, Kathy, just go home. Just go home. Come back when you figure it out. I eventually did. And I love this exercise.

Let's begin. Add bend, and extend. Flex, point. Lower, lift to bend, extend. And in and up, flex.

You look great. And lower, lift, bend and extend. And in, and up, and flex, and point. Lower, lift-- there we go-- bend. One more time, and in, up, flex, and point.

Lower, and lift, and bend, and extend. Place both feet on the bar. One of the things that I like to point out is that that happens often. And it happened with me as well is that once we start to disengage the mind and are really present with the movement, we tend to wander and forget exactly where we are. So this exercise merely points out how much we need to be present each time we do it and not just think, oh, I know what comes next, but to stay right with the exercise.

Let's bring the feet apart on the bar. We'll roll the head rest down for the moment and hold on to the straps. This again is a combination of the pelvic press series. But we are going to use the straps as well, which makes it a little bit more challenging. So we're right on the center of the foot on the bar.

Alignment from the foot to the knee to the pelvis, and four small pelvic curls to begin with without moving the carriage. So, we're going to take an inhalation. On the exhalation, curl the pelvis up. Don't move the carriage, very nice. And roll it back down.

If you're moving the carriage, it's because you're pressing with your feet and not curling from deep within the core muscles. Let's go again. Curl using your core, not using the pressure of the foot. And roll back down. You'll also feel when you're using the core and not pressing with the feet how much less you engage into the quadriceps to do the movement.

Once again, and curl from deep within the core muscles without pressing from the foot. And roll to come down. So now the shoulders are stable. Take a nice, deep breath. Inhale, and exhale, and really relax the shoulders down.

And now we're going to curl all the way up. Inhale. Exhale, curl the torso up-- I'm sorry, from the tailbone. From the tailbone we come up, very nice. Now, from there, you're going to press to straighten your legs.

As you do, you stretch the arms to the thighs. And bring them back up. Two more times, exhale. And inhale lengthening the spine, beautiful. And one more time, reach it out.

Reach it long. You look fantastic. And note how nothing changes in the torso. We keep that long alignment. And now from the throat, inhale, and begin to roll the spine down, one vertebra at a time, very, very nice.

So it's a little bit of a challenge, again, just simply adding the spring tension on the arms to maintain the core alignment through the body. Let's release the straps down and place the feet onto the wood. And bring the arms up, and circle them out. And roll the spine up one vertebra at a time. You're very, very welcome.

OK, so we're going to turn now and face the front. And we're going into our mermaid position. So we have one leg against the shoulder rest, other leg on the front of the bar. In this position, I like to make sure that we're really stretching the hip down toward the carriage and keeping that hip down so that as we do this stretch, we're not letting the body lift and stretch over. But we really keeping the movement down onto the carriage.

So you're stretching from the hip and really keeping the pelvis in alignment all the way through. So now what we're going to do is just a nice side bend. From this position, we'll take an inhalation. And we'll stretch. Exhale, and inhale.

And come up, three more times. And exhale. Stretch it over. And inhale, and come up. Sometimes I place a small ball under the hip to make sure that you're keeping the hip down, which you are doing beautifully.

And again, take it over. Stretch it nice and long. Get that long stretch, and come back to come up. Now we're going to add a twist of rotation with this. So instead of going just up and over, we're going to come around and through, like threading the needle.

And let the arm go all the way through. To complete it, we'll come all the way back to our foot. So let's take a nice, deep breath. And inhale, and now exhale. And reach around and under the body.

Come back. And now lengthen it up, turn, and bring the arm all the way to the foot. Reach up, and reach it over, down, and through, still keeping that stabilization, very nice. Come back up, and open it out, two more times. And lift, and rotate.

Lengthen the torso. Stretch it down and through, beautiful. Come back and up. Last one, and up, a full breath to go up and over, and a full breath to return it back. Now we put it all together.

So again we sequence it. The first one goes up and stretches over. And up, and thread up and through, reaching around and down, very nice. And up with a full rotation to the foot, up and over, very nice. And now come back and through, very good.

And up, and center, very, very nice. And now from here, we're going to turn to the end of the carriage. Sit closer to the shoulder rest. Roll yourself down. And roll yourself up.

Yeah, the down's the easy part. It's that up that's going to get you every time. And roll yourself down. Sorry. That's OK.

Perfect, stay there. Now slide. If you have difficulty, we'll do this one more time. Roll yourself down. Now I would like you, yes, just lightly anchor onto the back of the thigh.

Use your core, and roll to come up. Some days it's just not. Some days we just have lost that. OK, and sitting up nice and tall, we're going to go to the other side . Mermaid position, remembering that we have the foot aligned and the knee aligned at the shoulder rest and the other foot in the front of the carriage, and we're up nice and tall.

So once again, we're going to get that long side stretch, maintaining the weight on the opposing hip. Let's begin. And lengthen, and stretch. And up, so this is just a nice side bend. Lengthen and stretch, very nice.

And take it up. Let's go two more times on that. And lengthen, and stretch. And reach to come up, very nice. Last one, lengthen, and stretch, and lean.

Reach, reach, reach, beautiful. Now, let's go thread the needle. We're going to go up and around and through. And reach. And now not just to the center but all the way open to the back foot and up.

And around, reach it through. And come back up and around to the back foot. Two more times, take it. Lengthen it around and through. You look great, and up, and to the back foot.

And one more time, up and around, take it through and around. Lengthen and complete. Now one of each. And we'll just do two sets. So let's begin.

Come on up and over. Side bend only and up, soon as you're there, up and through. And up and reach, very nice. And one more time, up and over. And take it up and down and through.

And come back up. And rotate all the way around, and complete it in the center. How we doing? I'm OK. All right, moving along.

Now with lots of good rotation onto some core abdominal strength. We're going to turn to face this end. And we're going to sit a little bit closer, good. So we want to now place your feet in the diamond position so the knees are open. And we're going to hold the straps.

Where you hold the straps is I'd like you to think about this as just an extension of your own body. So wherever it is comfortable that the straps are not pulling you nor are they laxed or released. So we have just this strap at the end right at our fingertips. Then we're going to pull the shoulders down, lengthen the chest up. From this position, we're just going to do a nice rolling down movement.

So from here, lengthening your spine on an inhale, and we're going to exhale and roll down one vertebra at a time. And roll back up. Now, this is a great training exercise for what we were doing before. Should I go narrower? Yes, you should go narrower and lift your legs a little bit higher, good.

So this is a really good training exercise for you for that rolling through because we have this spring tension to aid us as we come up. So from here, I want you to let the reformer do the work. So all you're doing is resisting it. You're resisting it and finding those places, those little sticky places that we all have on our roll up. I know I've got quite a few myself.

Where you get to that point where you're rolling just fine, and then all of a sudden you're not. And so right here with the aid of the reformer, with the aid of the spring, you can find that beautiful body design and let this spring do all the work for you. So now that we've got that, let's challenge that a bit, shall we? Let's lengthen up and roll it back. Roll down one vertebra at a time.

Now, if you're really deep within your core and you're anchoring deeply and breathing, you should be able to lift your legs without moving the carriage. Very nice, and touch them back down. And lift them back up. And touch them back down. And lift them back up.

And touch them down. Let's do one more of those. And lift them up. And touch it down. And anchor.

So now the reformer was really not your friend because you really had to anchor from those core muscles in order to maintain the stability of the carriage. This exercise, we're doing it on two springs. Less spring is going to make it much more of a challenge. Let's roll back one more time and really add a challenge to this. Perfect, legs come up.

Torso up just a little bit more, close the legs. Anchor and extend the legs to your teaser without moving anything but the legs, very nice. And bend them. And open, lower the legs, and roll yourself up. Lengthen the spine.

Let's do two more of those. Lengthen upward, and make that contraction. And roll down. Roll it back. Find where you're really strong.

Anchor there, and lift the legs. Close them. And extend out. Take it longer, longer, beautiful. And come back, and open, and down.

All right, roll yourself up. One more little challenge on this, it's just a little challenge. Roll it back down. As you lift the legs, lift your torso just an inch. Yeah, that's that.

There it is. And close the legs, and bring them out. Beautiful teaser position, feel the strength in your core. And bend the knees. And open it out.

And let's try one more of those. Roll yourself up. Lengthen and lengthen. Remember, we're breathing, matching your breath to the movement. This is a powerful movement.

You will need a powerful breath to complete it, to really come from deep within your core. Let's go. Lengthen upward, exhale, and roll it. And lift the legs and the torso. There it is.

And extend them, beautiful. How much more core do you need for that one little inch? It's a whole lot more. Bend the knees in. Open the legs.

Roll the back down. And now roll yourself up. Roll yourself over, and sit up nice and tall. It's a beautiful movement. And again, it works deeply with showing you where you really need to be on your teaser positioning.

So let's go into some rowing. We're right in this nice position. We'll take you down one spring. For this next series we can do 1 or 1 and 1/2, whichever you're most comfortable with. But we want to remember once again that we want to find the spring that challenges the body but is not so heavy that you're working against yourself with the resistance.

And in many of these exercises, lighter springs is making the exercises more challenging because you have to stabilize the carriage. So on the rowing, we're going to hold the arms in front. We're going to lengthen the spine upward, and we're going to make a contraction and roll the spine down, pulling the arms in to the chest. From there, the arms are going to open out to the sides. Now, as we begin to roll the torso up, we're going to bring the arms down and circle them around up behind us.

And now roll to the sitting position, and we're ready to begin again. Roll it back. The hand position can be that the palms are down or in. Either way is absolutely fine. Both are challenging.

I like to do one one way and one the next so that you really are challenging all the way through. Let's do one more of these. Roll it back. Open it out. And roll forward, keeping your arms wide in nice flexion over the body.

Circle the arms deeply around. And roll yourself up to sitting. That was our preparation for the next exercise. The next exercise is a movement that I learned from our master teacher, Kathy Grant. And she teaches it in the mat work program.

It's rowing to teaser. And I thought, well, it's a very difficult and challenging exercise, so let's put it on the reformer to make it a little bit more easy for us to do on the mat. Well, I found out that I was wrong. It's definitely harder on the reformer, but it definitely challenges your core muscles. So we'll go into that first part of our rowing, bringing the arms in the front, lengthening the spine upward.

And we'll roll ourselves back, very nice. You want to sit up a little bit closer, good. Now open the arms to the sides. Bend your knees. Find where you're really strongest in your core if you need to come up or down.

Bend your knees. Extend your legs. Now if you can, maintain that position and release the carriage forward, bringing the arms around. Bring the arms around. Bring the arms around to your teaser position.

You got it. And bend the knees, and extend the legs out. Roll to sitting. And roll it back. Arms come out.

Bend the knees. Bring the legs up, beautiful. And circle the arms toward your toes. Let the reformer slide underneath you. If you don't have a strong core at this point, you're going to not like this exercise very much.

And one more time, let's do it this time, if you can, with your legs staying straight the whole time. So we roll back, pull the arms to the chest. Find where you're strongest in your core. Open the arms out to the side. Let the legs float to the ceiling.

Float them. Float them. Float them, great positions. Circle the arms. Circle the arms to the toes, to the toes, to the toes.

Hold it there. Lower the legs straight down, and sit up like so. That was beautiful, so good we should do another one, don't you think? One more time, and roll it back and down. Open the arms.

Lift the legs. Let them float. Let them float. Let them go, beautiful. And circle.

Anchor. Let the machine move underneath you. Anchor in your core. Anchor in your core. And now as the legs come down, the torso comes up.

Generally we don't like the noise on the machine, but we'll just let that go. Yes, that was a little quick, oh, I'm done. I think I'll let my legs come down now. They are to float up. That was how Kathy described it.

Let them float. They are weightless. They just [STUDENT TALKING]. Yes, but they should float down as well. OK, so we're going to go now into some arm twists.

We'll sit facing the side, and the legs will be crossed. So now we are going to cross the, yes, the leg that's closest to the shoulder rest will be on the bottom. Perfect, doesn't that feel odd? Uh-huh, that's why we're doing it that way so that when we are crossing we're not now pulling this way with the hip but anchoring down from the hip so that we are allowing ourselves to work deeply in having that pelvis more stabilized than pulling with the pelvis. So the first part of this is simply to bring the arms together and hold them like so, very nice, right at chest level.

And the arms are soft. The shoulders are down nicely. And we're going to rotate toward the foot bar. And rotate away. The things that we want to look for here are to keep the elbows at the same level all the way through so that they're not dipping down the least little bit so that the rotation is truly coming from deep under the ribcage, rotating the ribcage right around the spine.

That looks great, and again. And come back. And now it gets a little bit challenging. So we're going to take the arms, and we want to sweep down, contracting the torso to the opposite side. Now we're going to sweep up and bring them over the head.

And now use the reformer. Let the spring take you around and over. And again, down and around, and open, good. Now right from there up and over to the other side, and one more time take it down and around. And what goes one way must go the other way.

Now it gets a little hard from here. Over the top and down and through, very nice. Great rotation, and again, up and over the top. And down, around, and through, and one more, up and over. Last one, and down, around, and all the way through up to sitting.

It's brutal. But then you can also do it alternating. So you can go one circle, and then circle and reverse it the other way. So again, it's lovely for the body because we need a lot of rotation, really, really good for that core rotation and really feeling once that we've done this kind of rotation that we are coming around. So facing the end, turning around to the other side, foot closest to the shoulder rest is down.

Arms held into the front of the body, and the first is just our twist. Sitting up very tall, nice and long, and we're going first toward the springs and then around. Once again, that nice rotation around the spine so that we're really feeling that we have the stabilization of the hips, not lifting one or the other, and not really pulling with the arms as much as feeling that deep rotation from the core muscles. And breathing, take a full breath to complete each movement. Inhale to exhale, and inhale to exhale.

And take it around. And one more time. And now we're going to take it down and around, up and over. Oh, and feel the movement through the torso. Sweep it down, very nice.

Keep the pelvis level. Don't pull with the arms. And keep the shoulders down, the head in line with the spine all the way through. Two more times, circle it down. Sweep it around.

Circle it up. And circle over. Once more, and take it down. And open, and up. Now comes the hard one.

That wasn't the hard one. This is the hard one. All right, here we go. Up and over, make the contraction. Sweep it down and through to lift back up.

And again, take it up and over. Contract it down. Sweep it through. And pull from the core muscles, good. Up and over and down, abdominals in as we rotate, stabilize.

Last one, over, and around, and down. And open and up, and sit up nice and tall. Very good work, so now we are going to go into our standing series. So we want to once again put another spring on. So I do this generally with two red springs.

Again, less spring on this is going to make your carriage a lot less stable. And so for this movement, you probably want to stick to the two red springs. So we're going to be standing on the center of the carriage, hands on the foot bar. And we're going to step back so that we have the heel on the shoulder rest. The ball of the foot is on the carriage.

And we're going to level the hips, and we're going to lengthen the spine so we're in a long back flat position. So I really want you to think about pulling back into your hips and lengthening so the tail bone is the highest point, the apex of this movement. Without leaning to the side arm or leg, we are going to take the leg, and we are going to lift it out to the side of the body, up and down from the hip. And two, lift it up, and take it down. Lift it up, and take it down.

And lift it up and down. Now we're going to lift it. And I want you to circle the leg. Now, the carriage is not moving. On this, we have the hip open and the body still in a straight line, equal weight on the shoulders, equal weight on the hands.

Without changing anything, we're going to press out and pull in four times. Out to come in, and when we come in, we bring the toe higher and out. And in one more time, and out, and come in. Now we're going to round the back and bend the knee to the chest and place the foot on the front. Of course the carriage isn't moving because we have our core stabilization.

We're going to bend both legs and straighten them four times, bending and straighten. Once again, there's no movement in the carriage. Round down, tailbone reaching down toward the carriage. Back is rounded. Abdominals are in.

Reach it down and up. And reach down. This time stay down with the knee just hovering over the carriage. Knee is parallel to yours heel. Let's press out from there on one.

Pull it in. And on two, very nice, and in. Keep the back rounded. Keep equal weight on the shoulders and arms. And one more time, exhale back, and inhale.

And pull in. From there, we'll straighten both legs. Once again, no movement in the carriage. The front leg bends knee to chest, extends back up nice and high, circles around to the side. Now close the hip down.

Lower it, and stay there for a moment. Inhale, exhale, take a breath, and let's do the other leg. We're lifting it out on one. Close it down on two. Close it down on three.

You look fantastic. And down, and on four, and down. Now out and around, now remember, there's no weight in the shoulders and the hips. The body is being pulled back into the core muscles. From this position, we go out four times.

And we want to make sure that it doesn't matter how far we go out. The concentration is on the stability of not moving or dropping the top leg, that it lifts nice and high as if it's attached to the ceiling. And we're going to do that four times. Then we bend the knee into the chest, and then we place the foot in the front, without moving the carriage. That means your core is stabilizing the carriage.

Bend both knees down. And lengthen them up. And pull down. This is not about the legs. It's coming from the core.

And round it up. Round yourself down. Right, it's all about the core. And up, and one more time, round it down. And come up.

Now, this time, we round down, and we let the knee just hover, very nice, so that the knee and the heel are in the same line. And we're almost there. Out on one, and in. Out on two, and in. Out on three, and in.

And out on four, and in, very nice. From that position, we lengthen back up. Now the front leg bends once again to the chest. It extends nice and high all the way around. And we circle the leg out to the side and close it all the way down.

And take a deep breath. And kneel down onto the carriage. Take a nice, deep breath. That was rough. That is so much fun.

And again, it's all traditional. It's just put together in a little bit different sequencing. We're going to place hands on the foot bar. And we're going to take one leg, and the foot goes up onto the foot bar. And from that position, we're going to just let the hands rest lightly.

We're going to draw the shoulders down. Head stays in line with the spine. And from here, we're going to press out and straighten, rounding the back over the front side, beautiful. And bend, and come in with the torso close to the side. Watch the foot that we don't roll in or out.

And take it out again, rolling. Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. And bend to come back in. And take it back out. Lengthen.

Stretch it nice and long, and bend to come back in. One more time, lengthen out. Stretch it long. Stretch out, and lengthen in. Now we're going to take the arm off of the bar and hold it right along the ear.

And the movement on the out is the same. Get a long stretch, keeping the arm by the ear. Stretch it long, very nice. Now on the way in, let the torso come up. Lengthen it upward, and reach it back.

And now contract and lengthen down. Stretch it out. Stretch long, and come in and up, very nice. And again, take it out. Stretch it long, and come in and up.

And one more time, out nice and long, longer, very, very good. Now remember, we're lifting from the sternum, opening the chest. The shoulders are down. The neck stays long in this stretch. And come center, arm down.

And change legs. OK. OK, other one, we have two legs. We have to do both of them. And the first one is with the hands down.

And of course you can do that with no hands if you want. That's always the next step. That's the next class. OK, and both hands lightly on, and now this one we just reach out and allow the torso to stretch nice and long. And as we come in, we reach long and stretch up, very nice.

And again, reach it out. Stretch it long, very nice. And pull in. Let the spine grow to come up, two more times, breathing deeply, matching the movements so that there's never a chance of the breath ending or holding. But we carry the breath all the way through.

The breath becomes the rhythm. On the inhale, to exhale, inhale to exhale, arm comes off. We have four more, making this nice and long. And reach. Stretch it out.

And lengthen in and up. Beautiful, and reach. The arm remains right around the ear. So it's not an arm movement at all. But it's the torso and the sternum that allows the movement to flow, beautiful.

Two more times, and from here, the back rounds. The torso lengthens. The shoulders are level in this position. And we come in, up, and lift from the sternum, just from the sternum, not from the shoulders or the neck. And one more time, reach it long and stretch out.

And come in, and lengthen. And come up, very, very nice. So now we're going to come down. Bring the leg down into the roller coaster. Roller coaster is a combination from the knee stretch series.

And what I love about this, especially putting it here in the program, is that it goes through all of the different positionings of the spine. So we go from flexion into a lengthened spine passing through neutral into an extension. And it's really a roller coaster for the spine, shall we say. So we're going to start in our knee stretch, rounded back position. As we know, the foot alignment is crucial that we are right on the foot centers and the front of the foot.

The heels reach up toward the ceiling. The spine is rounded. Head stays in line with the spine. And the tailbone is reaching, stretching down toward the carriage. From this position, the spine grows to a back flat.

From the tailbone, let it grow all the way through the top of the head. And then from that position, nothing changes, but we're going to take the legs out from under us and stretch them long behind us, behind us, behind us. Now press the hips down toward the carriage. And come in with a bit of extension from the upper back only. Don't lay into the low back.

Good, ribs are closed, and as soon as we come up, we round the back into that low, curved position. Lengthen the spine. Press it out, and press the hips down. Roll through the body into an extension only of the upper back. We're supporting and maintaining the movement through the pelvic alignment.

So we're not arching the low back. Press back. Lengthen the spine. And from there, press it out. And pushed through the hips.

Anchor, close the ribs, and come in. Let's do it one more time, rounding the back. And lengthen the spine. And press the legs out, and drop them down. And come in and in.

Lengthen up. Round the back, and relax, and sit down on your heels. Take a nice, deep breath. We have one more exercise, which is in the stomach massage series. So we're going to come and turn around.

Sit, and again, I use the two springs from that. And sit fairly close to the foot bar. And our feet are in the small turnout position with the heels together and the toes turned out. The heels are going to be lifted, and we're going to be of course on our foot centers so that we are not rolling in or out. And all the toes are on top of the bar.

We're not letting the little toe drop the least little bit. Now from here, we're going to bring the arms up into the center. And the first part is just a twist. So we're going to press out, and as you straighten your legs, twist to the side, keeping the other arm right in the center of the body. And twist back to center.

And again twist, very nice. And come back to center. And twist, turning the torso, good. Come back to center. One more time, twist.

And turn, coming back to center. This time, instead of twisting as we go out, we're going to go out and lengthen the arm up. From there, we're going to twist the body. We're going to hinge. We're going to lift and round to come back in.

So we round and lengthen the arm up. Straighten the legs and arm. Turn the torso. Hinge it. Keep the arm right where it is, beautiful.

Hinge back up, turn, and round to come in, beautiful. Keep breathing, please. And up, and turn. Hinge it, good. Come back up.

And round to come in. Lengthen and lift. And turn, and hinge. And lift, turn, and contract. Each movement has a breath.

And inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, twist, and exhale. Very nice, now the next one, the advanced advanced one. The only difference is this. You're going to do the same movement, except after you hinge, instead of coming up, you're going to hinge, then do the twist. From there you'll come in and over.

OK, let's go, rounding the back. And arm comes up as we extend the leg. Turn. Hinge. Stay there.

Now turn back to center. Lengthen it further, and round to come up, beautiful. And other side, lengthen. You look great. Turn it.

Hinge it. Hinge back. Turn from the hinge, good. Lengthen and come up, two more times. And reach it, and turn, and back.

Turn it. Oh, lengthen it to come over and up. Last one, and up, and turn, and hinge. Turn in the center. Lengthen it out, and round over.

And come up. Place both hands on the bar. Bring the legs into the parallel position. And take a nice, deep breath. Now round the back, and stretch all the way out.

And get a long stretch on the torso. Now keep the torso very, very close to the thighs. And as you come in, round, and pull, rounding under to come up. And stretch again. Lengthen it out.

Inhale. Exhale. Get a long stretch, all the way through, beautiful. Inhale, exhale, and roll to come back in, keeping the very little space between the thighs and the torso. Two more times, inhale.

Exhale. Stretch. Lengthen. Round, remembering to keep that knee into the spine and that nice curl. And then as we come in, we think about pulling the tailbone underneath us to round and come up.

And we have one more. Come out, and this time we're going to stay there for a moment and take an extra breath. Inhale. Exhale. And now take an inhalation.

Fill up the back. Full exhalation to bend and come all the way in. Great work. Terrific program, thank you. It was perfect.

So what we're doing here is we were sequencing. So we really have put so many of the traditional exercises in together. But we've only done one repetition as we flow through the movements. And it makes it a great challenge. You did great work, and I hope you enjoyed it.

Thank you. Very much so. Thank you. It was really, really wonderful. That was fun.


1 person likes this.
Kathy Corey is wonderful, knowledgeable, serious and fun simultaneously. Learnt so much, her cueing is perfection. Thank you Pilates Anytime for providing access to such world class teachers!!
2 people like this.
I loved this class!!! So much
1 person likes this.
What a fun class! Can't wait to try it!
Beautiful class!
2 people like this.
This is by far one of my favorite Reformer sessions ever! Thank you Kathy and thank you Kristi for being such a great movement partner that day!
Amy I also think this was one of my favorite Reformer classes! What a gift to be taught by her and to be in class with you!
What a great class. I love learning new combinations and cueing. Thank you.
Love this class Kathy you are just amazing.. got questions.. the one where u are doing pelvic curls with arms in straps?? what spring tension are u using?
Also on the both of the hips have to stay down?? I can do this on a blue spring( bal body clinical reformer) but I cant keep opposite hip competely down.. is this fine?? Thanks, Jamie
Jamie I think we had two red springs on during the exercise you're asking about... I think... Amy? Do you remember? As for the mermaid, give it your best shot to keep the opposite hip down. I also can't keep it completely down. The attempt is made and that helps create stability so when the one end is stable the rest can be stretched.
Hi Marcia, not much tension at all in the arms! You're absolutely right----it increased the challenge of stability and control, for me anyway. I'd be curious to hear Kristi's response too. Do this's wonderful!!
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