Hi, everyone. Amy Havens here at Pilates Anytime, always such a beautiful opportunity to be here, here, and sharing time with you and movement with you. I've really been into kind of slowing things down a little bit for myself and my teaching and how I teach to clients. And I want this class to be that for you too. Lots of breath, lots of diaphragmatic breathing.
So this class is a calming reformer flow, and I'd like us to start standing together and let's just put our hands as sometimes we do this at the beginning of a mat sequence, but I want everybody just to place their hands on the side base of the rib cage, unlock your knees. And let's just take about five deep breaths together. So you're gonna take a nice breath through that nose. We're just working on feeling the expansion of the rib cage, the widening of the rib cage, and then your exhale, just letting that natural deflation happen. (gentle music) So we know diaphragm muscle is underneath all the way around through the base of those in the rib cage.
Let's unlock that today in this class, let's release that, expand that, let that diaphragm muscle its powerful muscle really kind of be our mainstay here. Remember, breath really does help provide space within our body within our mind. I've already lost count. That's all right. Let's just do one more together.
Expansion release, openness. Okay. Calm. All right. We're gonna keep up with that breath throughout class.
I want you to start at the bottom of your, at the top of your reformer, and everybody I'm on a light, light spring. So on this reformer, which is balanced body, it's a yellow. So come on and join me. You're gonna be back in the back. Yellow or blue or the lightest spring you've got, all right, take a hold of the handles, the shoulder blocks and just walk yourself back gently.
I do want everybody to start this class with bent knees. Let the carriage pull your arms forward. Remember this is breath. This is space. This is elongation.
Okay. So just being here really root your feet down into the floor. Allow the springs to pull you, like I said, and just get some more length. So we're gonna breathe in and during the exhale, let's do a little bit of tail curl. Feeling that diaphragm go back up in those ribs, inhale, the diaphragm expands and lengthens.
That's us lengthening as well. And exhale as we curl the tail, letting the diaphragm just release itself up into the ribs, inhaling. You can start to let the entire spine move more into extension. If that feels good for you. And your exhale.
Inhale as you lengthen reach. Don't hold back on that lengthening, guys, exhale let's curl the tail. When it feels right, you can start to make that a bigger motion. And exhale as we curl. Take two more here.
Inhaling as we lengthen, exhale, curl. Inhaling, and let that carriage kind of pull itself all the way stopped. Now, close the springs, curl your spine. Even again here, lengthening your knees. Organize your shoulders for shoulder like a weight-bearing support position here.
I want you to lengthen, lift up onto your toes, press your arms strongly down. Wrap your shoulders. You're in a plank. You know how to be there to support yourself for a moment, support yourself with your breath, and exhale as you lift your tailbone, lengthen your spine. Go back into more of that upward up stretch that we do on reformer here.
We'll do that later. Let's prepare with it again. And you're gonna curl yourself forward. Start organizing your shoulders, wrapping them back. I'm gonna have my heels flat for a moment.
Go for some calf length, rise up on your toes. Organize your shoulders, support your spine with your breath and let's do it one more time, everybody, some pushing gently through those hands, letting my body come low, head between arm, deep breath. How long can you get there? Exhale, start at the tail. The very base of your spine.
Let it curl that nice fluid undulation through your spine. Take yourself up onto your toes again, supporting your back with your diaphragm. From here, I want you just to bend one knee, I'm gonna bend my knee that's closest to you and my elbows a little bit and just turn and look a little bit to the back of the reformer. I'm getting a nice front left hip stretch right there. Come all the way up.
You might have to use your abdominals and I'm pivoting a little bit on my feet. Just leaning, bending those elbows a little bit, leaning the right hip toward the headrest. Let's do that again. Let's turn and keep your gaze up. No dipping of the head.
There's a spiral that's taking place through the spine. All right, reach yourself back. Now I want you just to bend the knees again. Round the spine, stay in a nice flexed, curved back position. Root your heels down.
Just feel that lower back elongation and then lift that sternum. You're gonna flatten your back, keeping your knees bent and let's just start prepping the upper body a little more here. Just some easy pulls, three or four times. Nice and calm. Feel the breath inhale as you pull, and exhale as you release, let's try two more here, breathing in and exhaling.
Last time here, everybody inhale. Exhale. We're gonna let that carriage go all the way to the front, right into that bumper. Elongate your legs. And let's go for one more of those articulated undulated little preview for up stretch, rise up on your toes.
Why not let a little upper back extension show up here and just wrap those shoulders. Open your body up. Okie dokes. So we're gonna step forward now and move into some more articulation bridging. So set yourself up there for what you like for bridging.
Okay, I'm gonna get myself ready on three red springs. So I have plenty of support from my reformer. And then actually is what I'll set up also be ready for footwork. So everybody come on down, keeping herself with breath, calm, quiet, but strong. Let's take a nice breath in here.
Feel how your feet really root down on the bar and curl again from the tailbone. I only want us to come halfway up our back. Just come halfway up here. Pause, breathe and exhale as you roll that spine down. Okay.
Inhale, exhale again. Feeling your back. Meet the mat. Articulate. Same thing.
Just halfway up. Allow that time for that curve to come into your back, inhale and then exhale again to roll down. I want everybody to go a little bit further now up their back. Go ahead and place your hands on the side of your rib cage now. Stay here and breathe wide.
Maybe your hands are a little bit more around the back of your low ribs so that you feel your expansion go back. Nice and exhale as we roll it down, let's do that twice more. Using your hands to feel your breath move into your back. Feel your feet root down. You can go higher this time if it feels right.
Deeply breathe. Can you feel how your ribs move wide into your hands and exhale? It's all coming down. One more everybody, breathing in big, and exhaling. So we're alive, we're calm, we're opening things up, feeling strong, quiet, connected.
And rolling yourself all the way down. And when we get down, I want you all just to take your knees in towards your chest, wrap your hands firmly around your shins and give yourself a really nice hug. Just feel your back. Really imprint, shoulders pressed back. Are both sides of your back even?
If they're not, try to even them out. Okay. Replace your feet down on the mat in Pilates V and just take your arms up for a minute. Open your arms, circle around, do two more big circles. All right, keep your palms face up.
Inhale. Use your breath to move those springs. So we inhale as we elongate and exhale as we close, continuing to flow with your breath. It's always so nice to get quiet like this in a session or a class. Go inside and hear your breathing happen.
Feel your breathing happen. Two more now. If this is all you did today, you'd be doing beautiful Pilates work. We all know that to be true. Okay, lift your feet again.
And one more hug. Lift your head. You might be able to hug even tighter, even tighter, as you come out of it you're gonna place your heels on the bar, inhale, press, and return. Opening your palms to face the ceiling, allows your shoulders also to roll back. No force here, easy extension.
It's almost like you're just floating on top of your reformer carriage. Let's take three more. And two. And the last one. And then we'll just easily step down everybody to the balls of the feet, press yourself long.
And I want you to lower your heels at the same time and feel that elongation up the top of your body, right? So you're really working opposition. How does that feel? Can you inhale a little more length? Let's just easily go up and down on both feet, four or five times.
Nice and fluid. Nice and calm. And now I'm gonna take it into a little walk, about 10 changes. See if it can be seamless, like an infinity sign one just into the next. Kinda easy to feel that right there.
All right. Both heels down again. Nice deep inhale, exhale. Lift those heels. Come all the way in, one more hug.
One more hug. Okay. Now I just want us to do a little bit of single leg right now. So take off one spring, roll yourself back down. And that spring setting will also set us up nicely for some hands and straps.
So I'm placing my feet in that V position, but I do want to take a nice strong, straight leg over really gentle lift, and lower. Can we inhale through that entire gesture? And exhale. Inhaling. Challenge the duration of your inhalation.
One more time there. And change legs. Nothing fancy, connected inhale. And exhale. Pelvis is level, leg is stretching.
Breath is long and full. The breath, the breath, the breath, the expansion. One more time. All right, plenty. Grab your short straps or where you need your hands and straps to be everybody, knees and tabletop.
Let's breathe the arms down. Bend the elbows, inhale. Straighten the elbows. Arms come straight up nice and fluid. Long arms, bend the elbows.
Straighten the elbows and arms come up, breathing, linking the breath with every motion. One more here. Now from this lifted arm position, we'll practice the stability of the carriage, right? And as you open the arms a giant inhale, of course, exhale, as we bring the arms above the shoulders. So there's power in staying still.
Expand. Two more of these. And then we'll go into traditional arms circles. Here we go. Feel the closing of the arms.
Feel how much exhale you can place in now. Two more. One more time this direction. Let's go the other way five. I want you to sustain your exhale.
Last two. Last time. Single thought is your breathing right? Let your body just flow. All right, setting your feet down just for a moment.
Grab a hold of both straps at the same time, and lift your legs up and place your feet in at the same time, let's come into a heel together position. Grab these straps everybody pull them down, but lift your feet up and try to pick up your seat a little bit. I'm pulling and I'm pressing. Hollowing out if you want to use that image, but also letting your back just really connect into the mat and come back down. Twice more.
So I'm pulling the arms down, lifting those heels up, trying to pick up my spine a little bit. And lower. One more time. See if you can expand your back back. And then from there, continue lengthening your legs up.
You can release your straps, place your arms down. Leg circles. I'm gonna keep external rotation today, the entire time. Nice and fluid. Let's let these circles be kind of non-stop if you know what I mean, not as particular about closing and holding the carriage still.
Feel that circular quality again. Last two this direction. And then go the other way. It was eight circles. It's nice and calm.
Ah, so good to move. Quality, slow, calm. I want you to fold your legs into a frog, hands on your shins and fold to give yourself that hug again. Let's go with some more spinal articulation short spine. If you've took your headrest up, just make sure it comes back down.
Okay, here we go, everybody. Let's go for a slow, slow, slow one this first time, fold those legs deeply. If you need your hands behind your hips, it's okay. If you want to put your hands here, that's fine. Lift yourself high, take just a second up there.
In fact, we'll stay here for a little bit because I want us to breathe in that diaphragm right, like we're doing a little weightlifting move. We got all of our organs falling down toward us. Our diaphragm is gonna lift those organs back up. We're gonna fold into that frog. Even here, the diaphragm is trying to push those organs this way.
Let's roll it down. Keep your feet up there. How far can you bring your seat away from your heels? There's more to stretch. Two more, more fluid this time.
Full, let's make it continuous rolling up. Up, up. Inhale. Exhale. Reach a little further.
One more time. Seamless, strong. Extend your legs in front of you. Everybody take your legs very wide. I want you to stretch, stretch, stretch the pelvic floor, your legs.
Let your diaphragm just drop and just open up through the ribs. We'll do one full breath cycle. Bring your legs together and step out of those loops. Place the loops back, come up off of your back for just a second. You're gonna move those springs down to one red or medium spring.
I want us to take our foot bar down now. We're gonna do a little bit of side bending. So your choices would be cross-legged. But I really had in mind more of a mermaid sit okay. Or this Z sit, back foot can be against the shoulder rest if you like that choice or tucked back.
But I want us to start this with a little bit of diagonal relationship on the mat and just bring your body low. Let your torso really compressed down on this front leg. That's an external rotation. Feeling some opening around the back of that glute and then just use those fingertips to lift up and back. Little upper back extension.
Let's do it one more time. Can you breathe? Big, deep, slow inhale. Stay there as you exhale, inhale as you articulate and exhale as you go to that extension. Okay.
Now for our mermaid today or side bend with rotation, let's return ourself to facing square. So I have the foot far down. It's a different feeling when your hands lower than on the bar here. Okay? So just lean onto that arm.
Open up that shoulder, take the opposite arm up. And I just want you to take the arm as close to your ear as you can everybody, and then lean to stretch. I am using this front knee into that shoulder rest, but I'm also trying to reach longer this way, dimensional breathing, breathe. Feel the inhalation, extend your body over exhale. As you come back up, we're gonna go all the way up.
So you have to use your trunk muscles. Moving these arms, you're gonna do one more big, exactly the same way. So arm is over, leaning out. Feel your knee, feel your hands. Feel the hand on the foot bar, the front of the carriage.
Use your breath, can you reach more through the inhale? Use the exhale to come up. We're gonna lift both arms. Okay. So our next one, we get to add a little bit of rotation to that.
Here we go. So yummy. Okay. So I'm gonna reach as far toward the patio as I can take this hand and take this hand and let those hands share some weight for a moment. So each hand has the same.
Bend your elbows a little wide, and press. Let the elbows bend wide and press. One more. We're lined up right with the center of the carriage here. And now if you have it in you to stretch a little further down or out and down, and then come up forward into some extension.
So it's not as high as it would be with their hands on the foot bar. You're getting more through that upper thoracic, maybe a little less from your lumbar. That's kind of the intention. Little more through your upper, upper back. Once again, everybody breathing in.
Exhale as you're coming forward and up. I want you to climb onto your fingertips up, up, up, return into that wonderful side bend position. Now let's do our counter stretch. This hand is gonna come up here. This hand is gonna go over here and you pull back just a little bit.
It feels really lovely. Other side. So we began more on the diagonal of the corner of the reformer, and I want you to lengthen your chest forward your body down low. So you're compressing down into this externally rotated hip. Using your fingertips you can roll yourself back, lift up that chest.
Let's breathe in here. Exhale. We're gonna go forward again. See if you can take a little more space on your reformer. Stay here for a full cycle of breath, let your exhale get you heavier, feel that stretch. Rolling up, up, up, up, up, up, up.
Oh, so yummy. Now for a side flexion, we want to square ourselves more again, more classically. I like to tuck this foot a little bit, hand on the platform side, arm begins over the ear and here we go. Inhale as we lean out, reaching, reaching the breath in and let that exhale bring us up and both arms up. One more exactly like that.
Feel your knee held pressed into the shoulder block, your hand reaching farther, between these two points is our breath. That diaphragm, breathe. And exhale. Adding the rotation. Now inhaling, here we go.
See how far you could reach, keep reaching as this hand turns, you need to take that hand to the front of that reform. Again, for a moment, share the weight on both hands. Center your chest, the best you can between your arms. Three presses of the elbows. It's never ending.
If you want to go a little further down and out you can, stay here, linger and breathe. You ready for your extension? Let's go. Lift that chest more than your lower back. It's your chest.
Inhale takes us out. Go a little bit lower. I believe we did that on that first side. See if you can get down there and coming forward your eyes tracking along the line where you're looking. Last time.
Go for it, go for it, go for it. Coming forward. Okay. Come up on your fingertips. Another deep breath, lift a little more.
We've got to come out of it in that counter stretch. Take both hands over to that shoulder rest, here and pull away. Let your ribs really hang back. Okay. Wonderful. Let's come around.
I want us to do just a little bit on the box. We can keep this red spring. As soon as you put your box on. We're gonna go long box. You may know what's coming, we're gonna lie on our tummy this way everybody.
Shoulders wrapping around the corners of the box. Legs are together. Let's go ahead and reach through your straps. Grab ahold of the tape. This is a big opportunity to do a long inhale as we lift and pull, and then exhale as we return.
All about the breath. Here we go. Don't worry about your muscles. Don't worry about the shape. Breathe your movement.
Makes some sense when you allow that to happen I believe. I'm gonna add just a little extra gesture with the arms. Making a circle. And then come down. Couple more here.
One more time. Arms out to a T, same thing. Just three repetitions. We're just breathing and moving. Opening that breastbone.
Using the expansion to widen your lungs. Okay. Hook the straps. That's all with the box. Come on back.
We're gonna come around. We're really ready to bear some weight on our hands. Connect on hands and feet. Attach your foot bar. I like two red springs.
Come up on our tippy toes. The very beginning, when we were warming up, we did that wonderful undulation up stretch moment. Here it is. To me, this is a breather. It's such a beautiful way to attach that and connect that breathing sequencing.
But for right now, just feel the angles, feel the feet rooted, the hands rooted, shoulders connected, this inversion to inhale your diaphragm wide. Again, it's going up toward your pubic bone in that direction. Okay? So just like footwork. We open those springs with that breath.
We close with the exhale. Keep exhaling. The next breath should be so exciting. Keep exhaling. Big inhale.
Two more. Last time. Very hard to talk and do all that at the same time, everybody place your feet flat for just a moment. Hang upside down. Do a little leg gesture.
Some air basket. So I want you to step on those balls of feet again. Either leg, doesn't matter to me which one you start with. I'm gonna take that leg and go high. I do want you to open your hip a little bit.
Let that open up. Just stand there. Let your Pilates happen, don't rush. No rush. Maybe the carriage moves.
Bend your knee to your chest. Bring your knee toward that foot bar, I'm gonna change legs. No rushing. Take that leg through. Just give it a moment to feel the line.
Hands and leg. Three, the carriage. Fold the knee in, knee toward the carriage. Foot bar. And stand.
For just a moment, release one hand. I've taken my left hand off. I'm just gonna do an easy rotation. To the other side. Lift on your toes.
Set your knees down. Round back knee stretch. Really calm, five times. You're gonna match your movement with the breath. One more.
From here down stretch, inhale. Exhale. Matching your movement with your breathing. One more. Everybody round back.
Knell back. Let's do a little thigh stretch right here. You can take it into a camel pose if you wish, I'm gonna stay right here. Okay. Let's do a little side split now.
Okay. Just keep on moving or standing up on this carriage. So we don't need all the springs. One red would be sufficient. Let's take that foot bar down.
You put your headrest up, standing up on the reformer. Nice and quiet. So let's just take a nice slow movement for a moment. Stand there on two legs, easy with your breath and close the springs. And just add a little gesture with our arms.
It usually feels pretty nice to lift a little bit, and exhale. Inhaling through the opening. Last two. We're gonna hold this one out. Okay.
So guys, we're gonna lean forward. Place your hands on that frame. Let your head go down. If you have it in you to go further out and you want to split wider, go for it. I want you to bring the carriage all the way in first, roll yourself up.
Now, when we step down to do the other side, heel toes, heel toes, step back, so other side. Nice and quiet. So just check into it the first time we did two arms down first, get yourself centered between those legs and then adding some lift. And always linking the movement with this breath or breath with movement. A little further.
If your body wants to go. We'll take our last one. This is the one we get to stay out. I know bending down, holding that frame, go upside down, a little farther if you'd like to. Carriage in, rolling up.
I'd like you to heel, toes, heel, toe, we're stepping down. And they come all the way around the front. Move our foot bar back up. No hands right now. Please send your knee down.
Open your hip joint. Just hold. No need to do arms overhead, anything. I'm gonna ask you to put your hands back on your side ribs. Continue to take that deep breath in.
This time, as we exhale, I am going to ask us to flex the spine and bring that knee forward. Inhale as we open, and exhale as we close. Two more. Just easily change it to the other side. Here we go, right into it, breathing in.
When we close we're flexing our spine today. Inhale as we lengthen to extension, just a normal extension of the spine. Exhale flexion. Last two. And the last one.
And then how I'd like us to all finish this. It's just sitting down on your carriage, however you're comfortable. It's however you're comfortable. Just gonna do just one little neck stretch. So just a hand on top of that ear.
Why the neck at the very end. Sometimes the neck breathes the auxiliary muscles up in the neck start to kind of play along a little much if the diaphragm gets tired, you may not notice that, but you might notice it now if your neck feels oh, wow, this feels really good. Perhaps there was a little discussion with diaphragm and auxiliary muscles. So we're just giving these muscles a little bit of attention too, okay. That's enough on that side.
And then just easy on the other. Just keep that calm breath going here. One or two more. I hope everyone's feeling as dreamy and calm and mellow as I feel right now. I love this approach to a class.
It's not how I do it all the time, but more often than not this is what serves me best these days. So come back to it any time. Thank you so much for joining me. See you later.