Class #4607

Straightforward Reformer 2

45 min - Class


You will finish the series strong with another straightforward Reformer with Sarah Bertucelli. This time, she gives the class a boost as she includes some of the concepts that were taught in previous classes. Get ready to move and have fun with this zesty class!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Jul 06, 2021
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

Good morning, thank you so much for joining me for the final class of zesty reformer flows. We're gonna do a straightforward reformer with some zest for sure. Please make sure and listen to your body. If I ask you to do something that doesn't make sense, feel free to modify. Remember we are practicing Pilates and what I ask you to do should feel good to you.

So I'm set right now with my footwork spring, I've got three reds and a blue. That's what I like to use for my footwork. And we do, I do plan to use the box for the last part of the class so hopefully you have a box available. Let's get started. So just lie down on your reformer.

I do have my head rest flat. I highly recommend keeping it flat if that suits you, at least for this first part, but if you need to move it, you can feel free to later, so for now it needs to be down. Settle in for a couple moments. My friends feel your head heavy, your neck long. Fill your chest, the back of your rib cage, grounded and your chest, open your heart open.

Perhaps your palms are facing up. Feel your pelvis position. Try to wiggle around until you settle in what feels like a neutral one, and then feel your feet on the bar. Breathing in, use your exhale to ground your low back, just starting the movement of the abdominals, flexing the spine, relax the pelvis back down, again, exhale, grounding the low back, just moving the pelvis a little bit and lower down. Using the abdominals to ground the low back, feeling the spine, move, move into your full pelvic curl, exhale abs first, backs to the legs second, we peel ourselves up and we find that high point, inhale here and exhale to lengthen your spine and lower down one vertebrae at a time.

Repeat, exhale peeling up, finding that high point. See if you can scoop your pubic bone, just a little higher inhale up there and exhale to peel down lengthening your back articulating one vertebrae at a time, repeats, abdominals first backs of your legs, second, try to feel a slight spiral in of your thigh bones, inner thighs engaged, and then use an exhale to lengthen and lower down. Let's do one more pelvic curl please, breathing and moving and enjoying the fields that your body creates, if you will, or the movement creates with your body. Exhale to peel down one vertebrae at a time, keeping your feet on the bar, sway your legs side to side. A couple of times, just releasing through your hips.

Feel free to take your hands on the pegs by your ears or on the frame if that suits your shoulders, just a nice relaxing sway one more time. And then let's use our abdominals a bit more here. So take the legs to one side, engage your abdominals. Use your breath to drag the pelvis back. Repeat the other way in hell to twist.

Use the breath to drag the pelvis back and inhale. So you want to really feel that the movement is initiated by the abdominals, one more time, inhale, also feeling a little bits of stretching happening here. Good, so set yourself up for some abdominal work. Your heels may be on top of the bar so you can bear down a bit, inhale with an exhale, lift the head and chest up nice and high, whole low back grounded, lower down, inhale, repeat. (exhales heavily) breathing and moving my friends.

Remember we're having fun here, lift again. This time we hold, moving into single legs stretch, hold one leg in the other leg outs and let's change and change, change with some nice zest here, if it suits you go slower if you need to, check in with your body, the knees should graze by one another, as you pass through center, your abdominals engaged and your breath consistent. One more time, please hold lift a little more. Slip your hands behind your head, criss cross, we twist and we twist, again, moving slower if you need or a little faster if you desire, enjoying the movement, stay grounded through your low back the whole time, feeling that the twist is really happening more from your rib cage, from your collarbones. One more time on each side, two legs in, lift a little higher, stretch your two legs to straight, hold on to one, place the other one on the bar grounding through the hamstring, change with a little.

(indistinct) The pulsing is coming from the upper leg. Try to really ground down through the bottom leg, into the bar and see if you can wake up your hamstring a little bit their, ease and power. One more time, please. Two legs are gonna go up, lift your chest just a bit more. Feel a nice stretch through your back and then lower yourself down.

Settle in for your footwork. So your shoulders are up against the shoulder rest. Your pelvis is neutral. Your sternum is, or your rib cage is grounded. Belly of the heel on the bar, heart open, with breath we press out and we press in.

I purposefully say, press out and press in. So you want to think about pressing in to the spring as you come in now, as you go out each time, think of pulling your inner thighs into the equation. So you're really using them. Find your breath please, breathing and moving, just one more in this position please, come into the stopper and move your feet down just a bit. So we'll go to that sweet spot just above the heel.

Let the feet soften around the bar, as you press out and you pull in or pull out and press in is what I actually like to say. I said that backwards. So think of engaging your inner thighs, as you go out, pressing into those outside heels a little bit as you come in, keeping the feet pretty relaxed, last one, coming all the way in, perhaps move your feet now down so that the bar is on the ball of your foot. Working toward that prehensile type stretch, press out, allow the heels to go under the bar a bit, organize your pieces, feel your core. And we keep those toes pretty relaxed.

We keep the top of the foot pretty relaxed as you go in and out. So this position can be done with this drive down through the heels, the whole way. What I like to do though early on in the routine like this or early on in the session is to keep my feet somewhat stable and allow the foot to kind of mold around the bar and then work this position. So I'm not dropping my heels down each time. I'm sort of keeping my foot in place and that feels really interesting to me, but make sure you're doing what feels good to you.

Come all the way in, please we'll put the toes on the bar with that active foot. Feel the inner thighs, engaged pelvis position, out we go, breathing and moving my friends. Now you can be always, don't be shy, I should say about checking in with your own body, slowing down when necessary or picking it up a little faster, if you desire. I also use your hands occasionally to feel that your body is exactly where you think it is. You want to make sure you've got that nice neutral pelvis.

One more time here, good, slide the heels together, we make our small V position feel the rotation from the hips, out you go, nice active foot. Also be mindful that we're endeavoring to keep the feet somewhat stable in space. So really the idea is is that the foot stays still and the ankle bone or the ankle joint gets to move a little bit more, check in with your feet and make sure they're working equally or that your legs are working equally. And the pressure underneath your feet feels the same, come all the way in pause for a moment, heels wide on the bar for our open V position again, check in and feel the rotation first. Feel your support system, out you go, support system, what did I mean by that?

I mean, you're using your abdominals to support your pelvis. You've got your chest open, you've got your heart open. Your palms may be facing up or facing down, if that suits you, feel that you're initiating the movement with those deep rotators. One more time please. Come all the way in, place your toes now on the bar in this same wide position, active foot grounding, out we go, breathing and moving my friends, finding the pace that suits you, keeping the flow, and just a handful more here please, making sure that you're focusing on lengthening your spine as you come in.

So feel length and then still keeping it as you come in, last one here, bring your feet close together for calf raises. So start with them together. So you feel centered and then separate a little bit. Use your active legs, press out, lower the heels down and press up down and up. Think of really grounding through the heels, not jamming the heels down, but controlling as you push down, pushing down and controlling up to more, prances come next.

We bend one knee and then we change. Now, sometimes when we do the prancing, we end up shifting weight side to side. I want you to really work on using both feet equally throughout the movement. So the foot that of the leg that's bent is working just as much of the foot, that the leg of the leg that's stretching, so just think that through as you practice here, and then go ahead and hold your stretch on one side, I am a big fan of moving my foot to a position that really feels stable and allowing myself to just sink into the stretch, really driving the heel under the bar. I might spiral my five bone in a little bit, and press my pelvis in the direction of the leg that's currently stretching and that feels delicious.

Make sure you're breathing, please breathing. And then change legs. Find your position. Settle in, breathing in, breathing out. Gently bring yourself into the stopper.

Let's do a little bit of single leg work. I'm going to keep the spring the same. If you want to get up and change your spring, please feel free to do that now. Settle in with your heels on the bar first, lift one leg to tabletop, out we go, just two times with a tabletop leg. Now pull that leg that's up into your chest and hold it close to you, as you continue moving, now straighten the leg, holding the back of the hamstring, pressing the straight leg into your arms to create a little bit of a stretch, same shape of the leg flex your ankle two more times, meaning two more leg presses, come all the way in.

Let's go ahead and change. So the other heel is on the bar, settle for a moment. Tabletop with the leg that's not working. We press out two times, and then pull that leg close to your body and just kind of hugging it in as you continue moving, and now straighten your leg for and hold the back of the leg pressing the hamstring into those arms. Same thing with a flexed ankle.

Nice little stretch here. Gently, come in. Hug your two knees into your chest, perhaps make a forehead to knee connections, stretching through your back, rock and roll around and bring yourself upright please. So we'll change our spring to just one blue spring for our reverse knee stretch series. I do like to use my reverse knee stretch as my abdominal work, which is what we're doing here.

So your knees and feet together, try to squeeze the feet together if you're able to, come into your hands, lean into your arms, round through that back, take a breath, use your exhale to pull those legs in, inhale back, focus on keeping flection roundness through your back as you breathe and you move, two more here, one more, gently, bring the carriage to rest. Sit back in a child's pose for just a quick moment. Sway your hips side to side perhaps, check out where your sticky and soften a little let's move ourselves over. Everybody move over to your right. So your left knee is still on the frame and we'll do our twisting are still on the roof carriage and we'll do our twisting reverse knees stretch.

So you'll lean into that left arm. You'll really lift up through the waist, creating a lot of rotation and lean over a little bit, so you're trying to feel a little bit of a stretch too, stack your other flag, and then we pull forward using just that left leg. So my I'm leaning forward with my heart, my back is rounded, I'm looking in the direction of my pelvis and I'm moving just my hip joint, well supporting with my abdominals. One more time please, gently take a rest carriage to rest and then move to the other side. So if you'll place your other leg, your right knee on the reformer, lean into it, lean into your right arm, round up through your back and then stack your other leg.

And then we pull in and we go back, focusing on this rounding through your back the whole time in rotation, moving just the right leg, looking in the direction perhaps of your pelvis. Last one here and then gently come out of that. Let's change our Springs so we can get into some hip work. So I like to use a red and a blue for hip work and spinal articulation. Lie back down, go ahead and put your feet in your straps.

Press your legs out to straight and stay for a few moments grounding through your pelvis, supporting with your core. A couple of frogs here inhale in and exhale out, (exhales heavily) just one more time, keeping the legs straight point through the feet, find the high part for your circle and then press right back where you came from to continue with the circles, finding your punctuation. We press down through center, we circle around, what do I mean by finding the punctuation? I mean, I want there to be a clear stop at the top heels together, a clear pause at the bottom as you open. So you're clearly doing a circle with a line through the center, one more time here in this direction, reverse your circles.

Go out around glue those heels together, keep them together as you come up through center, repeat, breathing and moving, I like to exhale as I bring those legs low, inhale up through center. If that breath doesn't suit you change it, one more time. Keeping your legs together, bend your knees. Heels together, knees are bent in your frog. We'll work our extended frog, first, press the legs to straight, open the legs wide.

Keeping the carriage still you'll bend your knees. Bring the heels together. Ankles are flexed and pushed back out. Open the legs wide. Bend the knees, bring the heels together.

And for us back out, one more time in that direction, bend the knees, bring the heels together press out. Reverse, knees are bent, open without moving the carriage, pull those legs together. Bend the knees in open without moving the carriage. Pull, this one always makes me really feel my inner thighs. I hope you feel your inner thighs a little bit too.

How about one more extended frog please, check in with your legs and try to make sure they are contributing equally, gently bend your knees in and pause for a moment. Most days I need to scooch a little bit away from the shoulder rest before I can move into my short spine, so I've done that. Start with a frog shape with your legs. If the short spine doesn't work for you, feel free to modify. We press the legs out to straight the toes are pointed.

We folded the hips using the abdominals to support. We roll up onto the shoulder blades, finding that beautiful high position. We bend the knees and then we roll down one vertebrae at a time pulling those legs through to that frog shape, press out point the feet here, fold at the hips. Beautiful control, rolling up using those abdominals, bending the knees and then rolling down, flexing the ankles. As you pull through to your frog, repeat one more time, folding at the hips and rolling up, and rolling down through the back, pull those feet through, press out to straight and just find a delicious stretch for a couple moments.

I always like to bring the bottoms of my feet together and let my legs open. I'll let my head sway side to side, take a breath or two or three, and then slowly take your feet out of your straps, and we'll make our way up right here. Moving into some lovely full body integration work. So you're gonna want to change your spring perhaps to a one spring, a red spring or a green spring. I'm gonna recommend it be a full spring, but make it work for you.

Go ahead and come up to a standing position on the reformer for your ups stretch, so heels up against the shoulder rest. Hands are on the bar shoulder width, chest is toward thighs, neck is long, spine is long. Really make sure there's weight on those heels, inhale slide the carriage back, exhale pull the carriage in, think about hamstrings, controlling back, abdominals pulling in, but pulling in with the abdominals is really your hip flexors working and you want to support with your abdominals. So just think through that for a couple moments, one more time, carriage stays at the stopper for just a moment. Look at your hands, make sure they're about shoulder width apart.

And we come down to plank positions. So we're gonna set up for long stretch here. You want to really feel those abdominal supporting energy through the legs, but really thinking about the abdominals. How far forward can you go, maybe touch the stopper, how far back do you feel comfortable going? So here you can use the breadth that suits you traditionally with Bassey, we'll use an exhale to reach back and an inhale to come forward.

Choose the breadth that suits you though and make sure you're supporting your back, your body in a way that suits you, one more time here, going back, as far as you feel comfortable, perhaps all the way forward, lift your hips up nice and high, lower your feet flat for your elephant. Now, a little variation here, I would like to offer up this idea of bringing the hands together to touch and then bringing the head just between the biceps there so you can really cradle the head with the biceps a little bit. Now feel lengthening through your back, spine as long straight is the idea. And we're gonna slide that carriage back and pull in. There is energy in the arms.

There's energy in the abs, energy in the upper back, for sure, hamstrings are leading the movement on the way back, you want to think of the gut pulling the carriage in, do one more here, holding the carriage at the stopper and then walk your hands down to your reformer carriage. Walk your feet forward a little bit like an inch, relaxed your head, bend your knees, maybe hooking the hands around the edge of the carriage there until you can come into a deep squat. We did this at the very early part of the series. And then keeping that hook you'll stand up again, letting your head dangle. And then again, we're gonna come into that deep squat this time we're gonna stay here and we're gonna roll through the feet a few times, so you can keep your hands hooked.

Your neck is relaxed. You're gonna pull over the feet until your knees tap down push back to where you came from. Do that again, pull over until your knees tap and then pushed back this time we pull over and we stay. We slide the feet all the way up against those shoulder rests in the setup for our knees stretch facing forward. So the hands are on the bar, rounding through the back, really supporting from those abdominals here.

We're gonna lift the hips up. So the carriage goes back with energy back and in, inhale, exhale. (exhales heavily) Find that breath, find the power two more here. Now round the I bring the carriage into the stopper and you're gonna undulate forward into your down stretch. Keeping those feet really grounded against those shoulder rests, we're opening through the heart, lifting the sternum, supporting with the core as you go back and you pull forward, choose the breadth that suits you.

Perhaps it's an exhale back and an inhale forward. (inhales heavily) One more time please, opening through the heart. Untuck the toes, sit back in a child's pose for just a couple moments, but let your elbows hang down so you can stretch a little bit through the shoulders, so I'm holding onto the bar. My elbows are hanging down and I'm just rolling side to side, getting a nice little stretch through my shoulders here. And then we'll go ahead and come on up from there, let's change the spring to a red spring, if you're not already on, when I was on a green for that part.

So I'm just on a red spring now for my lunge. Now you can also be on whatever spring suits you, but I want to stretch my hip flexors and I like my spring to be lighter. So I'm gonna bend my knee and put the knee down. Now I want you to think about, is your knee turning out a little bit, if it is encourage it to turn inward a little bit and lean into the stretch a little bit, perhaps on the outer area of your hip quad, that's where I'm usually tight. But certainly you want to be curious about this position for you and find a lunge that allows you to feel something in your body that is necessary.

I think sometimes I'll try too hard to hold the position and then I don't get the feel. So I don't feel anything in my low back, but I'm gonna kind of let myself sink and find a place that maybe isn't neat and pretty, but it feels really delicious for me. I'm getting a wonderful stretch right now because I've just kind of changed what I was doing, breathing in and breathing out. Let's come on in and we'll go to the other side. So same thing, I want you to allow the stretches to be what you need them to be.

So we'll place that foot up against the shoulder rest. The other foot is near the foot of the reformer. You're gonna lower your back knee down and maybe angle it in if that makes sense to you and start to find that stretch, find the release. I know for me on this side, particularly when my left leg is behind me, it takes a little bit more time for me to sink into the stretch, so I'll take the time. Lucky me, I get to look out the window and see this beautiful ocean with the birds flying, never, ever, ever gets old my friends.

So continue to breathe and figure out what you need to feel. Maybe you'll press your pelvis inward a little bit. And again, my picture here is not a classic lunge. It's not pretty maybe, but I'm feeling what I need to feel. So that feels good.

So play with that idea of just letting it be. And then we'll come on out of that and let's do a little bit more arm work here. So I'm gonna recommend for most of you a blue spring for this arm work. If you have that option a light spring. So we're gonna sit on the knees with the bottom on the feet, We've done this before, reach up and hold the ropes above the buckles for some chest expansion.

Before you even think about pulling into the movement though, sit on the heels. So feel the bottom on the heels. Hollow the belly in, exhale the arms behind you Opening the heart, work on keeping the abdominals as the bracing force, not the low back work on keeping your elbows straight and feel that you're moving with this sensation of lifting your sternum, opening your heart. This time, keep your arms behind you. Roll those shoulders or rear underarms together a bit more.

Look to your left, look to your right, arms forward. Pull back again now, look the other way, center, look the other way, back to center. Let's just do that one more time on each side. So you're gonna look, look, and last time please pull those arms back. We're gonna look and look, take those arms forward.

Now put the straps on your wrists. We've done this before, waking up that whole back body in a open chest expansion. So with the straps on your wrist, bend your elbows a little bit and look at your own arms for a moment and look at the elbow bend. I want the bend of the elbow to be going straight forward and the point of the elbow to be going straight behind you. So check that out and try to keep that.

And then here are my friends, I want you to really think of spreading your shoulder blades and collarbones east west. Oftentimes when I give this cue, people will pull the arms back more and squeeze the shoulder blades together, I actually really want this feeling of spreading, now I've got spring tension, not a lot, but I can really start to feel my back body. And it looks like I'm not doing anything, but I'm working hard. So I hope you feel that keeps spreading, spreading, spreading, maybe your take your arms back a little more check in with where your elbows are, spread, spread, spread, and maybe you rock a little bit side to side. You're breathing, you're holding this opening sensation.

Maybe you'll move your head around a little bit, and just notice how it feels. And then we can rest that and I know for me, I can feel quite a lot of heat in the whole back of my arms and my upper back. So hopefully you feel something like that too. Let's be on a good red spring, for some full body integration work here. Yes, we're going back to the tendon stretch and we're coming back to long back stretch as well.

So you're gonna have a seat on the bar. You're gonna press those legs out for me, and you want to really drop the heels underneath the bar. And you want to place your hands just outside of your legs round through your back equal weight through both arms, maybe you just try to lift your hips up and maybe you stay there, maybe you feel comfortable if you do, you push forward and then you pull yourself up. You want to think of really pushing through those heels forward and pull yourself up. So as you push those heels down, you scoop your pelvis up, one more time, tendon stretch, (exhales heavily) beautiful, gently have a seat on the bar.

Shake out the risks, if your hands need a little break clasp the fingers behind you, open through your heart and look up, release that. Long back stretch, so option one, your knees can be bent and your feet will just be resting on the carriage and you can work tricep dips. The rest of us are gonna work the full exercise. So you place your hands next to your bottom. One foot goes forward, flexed ankle.

The other foot goes forward. Check in with your arms and make sure both of them are working. Press your chest forward while aiming your tailbone back, supporting with your abs, we bend the elbows. We scoop up finding articulation elbows, now straighten, curl your back back one vertebrae at a time, straighten out, try again, we bend, we scoop, we lift the pelvis, the elbows are straight. We round back one vertebrae at a time and you straighten out one time, please.

We bend, scooping up, rounding back, straight and out, and you can just gently step off of your reformer. Shake everything out for a moment. All right, I'm feeling zesty and warm. I hope you are as well. We're gonna do a little bit of standing work.

So I'm gonna recommend that you'd put your bar down, if you're on a balanced body reformer too, not the full low position, but I'm not fully down, but the low position, we are gonna stand on the foot platform. So if you need to take your bar down to make that work, please do, I'm gonna recommend that you're on one spring, a red or a green, probably a blue we'll feel pretty light. We're gonna come to standing here pretty soon. So use the bar as a little bit of a guide if needed, or put your hands forward on the carriage in order to step up here. So we're gonna support ourselves as we step up.

We've got both big toes hanging off. I'm gonna take the one that's on the carriage, that foot back just an inch or so, so it's a little behind me, supporting with my abdominals, sink into a squat without leaning forward. So I'm only bending my knees ankles and hips as much as I can without bending forward. Take the arms out in front of you, press a little bit of energy into the bar, if you have that available to you, and push out with the other leg. Pushing out, beautiful.

Now we're gonna take the arms straight out to the sides, palms facing forward, pushing, adding rotation. Look and look. So we're rotating away from the leg and then the other direction. One more time, hold the rotation. And if you want to take this a little zest here, you're gonna bend deeper, bring your hands into your gut so you feel your deep bend, okay?

The leg comes in and then we're gonna reach and look and pull in. So my arms reach and look and I pull in, reach and look nice zest here, reach and look, one more time, reach and we come in and up to standing, and I feel my legs, hope you do too. Side split here, you need to work at a level that suits you. We try to get all the way out to the shoulder rest. You're gonna want to support yourself on your reformer frame as you come out to that shoulder rest, ground down to your feet and then come up right.

Yes, let's take the arms first out to the side and feel a beautiful connection here. Bring your foot closer in if it's too hard for you, clasp your fingers together, press your head in your hands, spread through your collarbones, now we open, inhale opening as wide as you feel comfortable here. And as you pull in, I want you to think of lengthening through your spine and holding lots of inner thighs, opening wide again and pulling in lengthening. And one more time please, pulling in and lengthening, hold, good. You can walk your foot in if that's necessary or if you can come down, hold the frame of the reformer and then walk your foot in and we step off and get ready to go to the other side.

It feels good. So once again, you're gonna put your foot up on the foot platform, use your hands to support, so as you step up, you feel safe. Have your toes hanging off your big toes, hanging off just a bit and then we stand tall. Make sure that the foot that's on the reformer is slightly back. Bend both knees, lean into that foot bar a little bit, arms out in front of you for the first couple here, pushing the leg out and controlling in and pushing, the arms go out to the side.

The palms are facing forward and we add rotation. So you rotate away from your leg as you reach out, looking in the opposite direction and you can fully rotate, and then you can bend quite deep here and fold forward. If you're comfortable with that rotation, start with your hands, kind of close to your gut. And as you reach your arms extend and you come in, and you reach and the arm movement and the gaze changes just challenging our nervous system a little bit, two more, please. One more, please.

Beautiful come all the way in and let's set up for the side split. So once again, use your hands on the frame in order to find the position that suits you. Our goal is to get all the way out to that shoulder rest. But if that doesn't suit, you come in a little narrower than we support with the abdominals and the inner thighs. Take your arms out to the side and get to know this.

Do you try to feel like you're standing equally on both legs with this idea of lifting up, clasp your fingers together, the head is in the hands and we open nice and wide. We pull that carriage in, we hold the carrot at the stopper for a beat or two, and then open, nice and wide. And you pull in and you hold. And one more time please. Hold and then slowly you can walk your foot in or you can bring your hand down to the frame and you step off.

Let's move into the side over. So for this, you'll want to add some springs to stabilize everything and you most likely are gonna want to take that bar all the way down. I know for me to get my foot strap, I need to do that. So take the bar all the way down, pull your foot strap out and get your box. So we'll move the box on for short box.

And if you're not comfortable with the side over you can modify or do something altogether different, or you can come along with me. I like my head rest to be up for this just for a support system when I get set up, so I'll face you this first time. So whichever side you're using first, you have a long leg tucked in the strap and you have a bent knee straight out in front of you. You may use your hand on the headrest or on the shoulder rest, head rest or shoulder rest to just kind of get started and set up. I highly recommend you stay here for a few moments, really lengthening through your low back, feeling the energy from your leg toward the back.

So I want you to try to use your glute, not that upper quadriceps. So sort of send the heel back and feel that support first, draw that belly nice and active. And then without changing a thing, you just place your hands behind your head, clasp them, lengthen, focusing on length, as we inhale, we go down and we exhale to lift up, lengthening in that same straight diagonal line please, inhale, we reached down and we like as we come up and we go again, finding a stretch, but making sure you don't stay there so long that you can't lift back up, breathing and moving. We're gonna do one more please. (exhales heavily) And then we get to stretch.

So find a place for your hands where it feels good. Maybe your hand goes all the way to the floor. Maybe you have an arm or a hand on the head rest or the shoulder rest. Maybe you want to come into a little bit of a rotation and look toward the floor and let your head hang. I like that, it gives me a nice stretch through my back.

And I'm always needing that, feels beautiful, breathing in and breathing out. Use your hands to help you get up and come up to a sitting position, get ready to change sides. So you can just tuck your other foot in, set yourself up so that you're in a straight diagonal line using your hand as needed, send some attention to the straight leg and try to get that glute active, the back of the leg more than the front of the leg. So soften the front quadricep and try to wake up the back of the leg feel lengthening through your low back. Maybe you even touch it and make sure that there's not a lot of gripping there.

And then you place your hand behind the head and without changing a thing, you place your other hand behind your head and we hold here, and then we inhale and we reached down and we exhale to lift up, lengthening, inhale down and over. So I really like lingering in that diagonal line position for a moment and just feeling a little more, one more, please, and then go into your stretch. Whoops, I knocked that head rest there for a moment. So perhaps you'll put your hand all the way down to the floor. Perhaps you'll put a hand or a forearm on the head rest or the shoulder rest, or maybe you'll be in a rotation position.

If that suits you again, that feels always really delicious for me. So I'm looking in the direction of the floor and then getting a really wonderful stretch through my back into my leg, as well it feels really nice. My hip and then slowly use your hands to help you get up from there, and let's move into some back extensions. So for that, you were gonna wish for a light spring, I'm going to recommend a blue, you're welcome to work a little heavier. We are gonna be doing pulling straps.

So just one spring, maybe a red, maybe a blue, and then turn your box around. I want to make sure it's even, lie on your belly. So here, you want to be, you want to pay attention to where the center of your upper back is, and that's where you want to align your body up with, so that you can focus on the pivot point right there, send your legs long, feel free to lift them. Feel free to relax them in the beginning, so you can hold the tapes. If you would like to minimize the work.

If you'd like to maximize the work, you're gonna wrap the hand around so that you've got a little more range. So my arms are reaching out in front of me and I'm not quite, I still have a little tiny bit of tension here. I'm endeavoring to be in a straight back. We're gonna inhale open through the heart and lift to back extension, lower down, repeat, opening through the heart straight arms, we're lifting to thoracic extension, maybe a little higher if that suits you, but really focused first on your, the thoracic extension, rolling those rear-ender arms together. We'll do two more there.

And one more please. This time we'll hold that extension. Bend the elbows for me and straighten, again, little tricep zest. Keep thinking about what's happening between your shoulder blades, that opening through your heart. A little bit of a rolling together perhaps of the shoulder blades will help keep you in extension, last one, straight arms, lower down, let everything relax for just a moment.

(exhales heavily) And then we'll slowly place the straps back on the pegs and let's finish with some beautiful stretches. So I'm gonna just add a spring just for stability. And we've done this before. I'm gonna use the box as a stretch. I'll come around to the other side so you can see me a little better.

It doesn't matter which side you start on, but I would like you to set your leg on box here in a 90 degree knee bend and then arrange your pelvis, your lower body so that you feel like you can really sit ground down on as much of the leg as possible. So I've got one hand on my knee. The other hand is on my foot trying to ground down, and then I'm going to swirl and breathe and relax into this stretch, my back leg is just available, but I'm not really standing on it, it's just there, until I feel what I need to feel. So you have to be patient and you have to be curious here to find something new and hopefully you'll find this stretch to be valuable, make sure you're breathing. And then we're gonna change a little bit by moving the body back slightly and opening the leg up.

So you just kind of have to find where your leg fits on the box, there's no real right or wrong here. And once again, I'm going to do whatever I need to do with my pelvis or my leg behind me in order to try to ground down through as much of my leg as possible. So I'm grounding my outer upper leg and my outer lower leg. And then I'm gonna swirl around, breathing in and breathing out, taking the time to enjoy these beautiful stretches, perhaps close your eyes, and then we're gonna adjust again. So the leg is pretty long, so if you're tall, you may find your foot is hanging off.

You want that crease where your gluten, your hamstring meet to be right on the edge of the box, and the other leg, once again is just wherever it needs to be, to feel like you can ground down through your sits bone and whatever part of your leg makes sense. So you can push into your thigh and feel more of your leg grounded if that feels good or you can keep it relaxed, but swirl, move forward. Maybe look over the other edge, see what happens there. So you may feel stretch in your leg. You may feel stretch in your back.

There is no right or wrong. This is an exploration and you should really enjoy the position, so final idea here, you've got that long leg in front of you. You're gonna take that back leg back as far as it feels good. So I'm pushing back with my foot wiggling and then I'm going to press the leg in the direction of straight, so I'm getting a nice hip flexor stretch as well and then I'm gonna reach my arms up and maybe you'll lean back and enjoy that for a moment. Don't lean back, if it doesn't feel good.

And I, again, I'm not pointing my toes or straightening my knees. I'm going for a sensation here. And for me, I feel a lot of sensation in the front of my right hip. And that feels really nice. Let's rest that and move to the other side, please, okay.

So you'll place the other leg up. And again, you want to just find a 90 degree knee bend and maneuver your pelvis so that it feels good and you can relax, swirling around, one hand is maybe on the knee or thigh area or elbow. The other hand is gonna help to kind of ground down through the foot, relax your head, swirling around, breathing in and breathing out and then make a change. We're gonna go to a more long leg. So I moved my pelvis back, I'm more open through the knee, but my knee is still pretty bent.

Again, find your spot, back leg is doing whatever it needs. And you're gonna lean into the stretch and swirl around. You can let your abdominals be pretty passive here, or you can choose to support with them. Whatever feels like the right choice. I'm letting my shoulders do whatever the heck they want.

So I'm trying to find fields in my neck here as well, while stretching also, maybe my glute, maybe the lateral hamstring. There's quite a lot of things that could be stretching. And then we lengthen the leg and you want to line yourself up so your hamstring and glute are right at the edge of the box, that feels nice. The other leg is doing whatever. And then you can undulate forward and relax.

You can swirl around with your pelvis, figure out what you need today and breathe, and just really enjoy this idea of relaxing. After all that work, come back through and upright. Walk your back leg back as far as it feels like a good idea. So you're starting to open through your back hip flexor. So my back leg front of the hip is feeling a stretch, and I'm gonna press that leg in the direction of straight.

I'm supporting with my core a little bit, take the arms up. Maybe you take a back bend, maybe you don't, forward and do that again, perhaps, or just hold the leg without the back bend, it's really up to you. Whatever you're doing, give it one more breath, and slowly bring yourself up to your feet, with your palms open, breathe in and breathe out. Take your arms up one time, inhaling, exhale, press the palms down, breathing in and breathing out. I thank you all so very much for playing.

Zesty Flows with Sarah: On the Reformer


Jennifer C
1 person likes this.
Wonderful class! Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Just a perfect class!! I feel so lengthened and strong! thank you!
1 person likes this.
I’ve adored taking this series of zesty reformer classes. It has been a wonderful gift to open a new class every week for the past few weeks. I hope you’ll consider a series of zesty tower workouts! (Hint, hint, Pilates Anytime!)
1 person likes this.
This was perfect!! Thank you! I hope you continue to bring more zesty workouts to us!
Sarah - this class is amazing!  Enjoyed every minute of it & feel elongated & stretched!
Thank you Jennifer C ! "see" you soon. 
Wonderful Lisa M.  Thank you so much!
Thank you so much Stacey S.  Zesty Tower Flows sounds quite fun.  Will keep the idea in mind.  Take care. 
Hi Nicole T,  There will be more Zesty workouts.  Not sure when, but yes! Take care:) 
Thank youLaurie J.   Elongated and stretched is perfect! Take care:)  
1-10 of 43

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin