Class #4954

Garuda Reformer Foundations

60 min - Class


Learn how the use of your feet can translate to movements all the way up your body with this innovative Reformer workout by James D'Silva. He starts with a standing warm-up so that you can feel the sensation of rocking through your feet as well as the coordination of connecting your head to your tailbone. He then moves on to variations that will challenge your balance, flexibility, and stability in creative ways.

Note: If you don't have the same Reformer as James, he offers suggestions so you can still do the exercises on the model you have.
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box), Standing Platform , Knee Pad (2)

About This Video


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Hello, my name is James D'Silva, and I'm the founder of Garuda, and I'm here with the lovely Rebecca Morton, (laughs) and today we've organized a little workout, a workout that really kind of talks about how we use the outside feet, the inside feet, the front of the heels, the back of the heels, the toes, and subsequently the, the outer shins, the inner shins, and how it all translates, migrates up the body, yeah? So it's, it's a fun class. Again, it's, it's, it could be anything from a, from a, a beginners to an elementary, so follow along, yeah, but also remember to enjoy moving through with us, yes. So I'm gonna stand my lovely Rebecca up, and I wanna have her feet face north, her north, and her weight starts with her just slightly in front of her heels, yeah, and her hands are just behind her occipitals, and I'm gonna guide her back and forth. And I'm gonna make her really understand where her weight is every time.

So from the front of the heels, I move her to the balls of the feet. Then I move her forward to the toes. Then we're back to the balls of the feet, the front of the heels, good, on the heels and the back of the heels. So the back, from the back of the heels to the, on the heel situation, front of the heel situation, balls of the feet and the toes, and I'll get her to just rock back and forth to kind of get this wonderful sensibility of rocking through the feet, yeah, sir. Just forward and back it.

And, and then you, I'm gonna stop her to bring her to that place where her weight is just in front of her heels. There's a certain length out of the ankle joint up the shins into the femur bones, pelvis widening the back, already feeling the length out through the spine, and the occipitals lifting, yes. There's a wonderful, a sense of lift as the heels drop down, good. Yeah, so, those were her five latitudal planes in the feet. Now longitudinally, I'm gonna first move her to the outside of her right foot.

Yeah, then to the media line of her, her foot, which is the hip bone over knee into the second toe, yeah. And then I wanna move it to the inner or the divine line of her foot, which is the inner space of the big toe moving up the inner shins, the adductors, into the lesser trochanter. Same thing to the other side, done, then on the media line, and then the peripheral. So she can sway from one peripheral line to the other feeling the outside foot, the medial, the divine, the divine, the medial, and the peripheral. Now there's a lot more to just swaying back and forth.

As she sways and she rolls into the inner foot, she takes her ribs and her occipitals with her. She move through and you move across the medial and the peripheral, so really move to the outer foot, creates, stop there for a moment, Rebecca, creates space from the outer edge of the foot and the ankle. So there's a lot happening in that joint, yeah. To feel the outer ankle drop, rather lift up as the outer foot drops, you have that wonderful sense of lift, then rock at center, now feel the inner ankle pull down about the same time as the inner heel drops down, yeah? Then the heel pushes into the floor, yeah.

Inner heel pushes on the right foot, the ankle lifts, good, and then center, and again, as the outer foot drops, the ankle lifts. Now this is really important, trying to kind of feel what the floor surface feels like and eventually push or pull into it, yeah. So we have those three longitudal lines. Then adding on, we have this wonderful sense of circling around the periphery of the foot, so I've actually taken Rebecca forward to the toes. Then I move her onto the diagonal of her little pinky, then around the side of the foot into the diagonal of the heel, good, back of the heels, diagonal side of the foot, diagonal of her pinky and the toes, so we're lookin' for a little circle, so Rebecca, diagonal, side, diagonal, back, diagonal, side, diagonal, front, good.

Let's do a few of these. Now also as I do so, I play with my ribs. My ribs soften. My head's slightly loose. So again, the head balances itself on the spine.

Now the ribs move with the ankles and the feet, good. The other way around. And move, so there's a lot also happening in the hip sockets, yes. Exactly, that's nice and sort of opening up, and the front opens out, and I get diagonal side, and open up in the back, good. So feel that wonderful sense of the feet actually guiding the movement through and through, and let's take that, Rebecca, into figure of eight.

Move the little pinky, cut across to the inner heel diagonal, move across, and then from the little pinky, cut across, yeah. Don't make this too big of a kind of a twist, just the side and then come back, good. And move to the outside through the little pinky and come back. The figure of eights are really quite important, because they're the beginning of the twists of the spirals, yes, down and through, and let's go the other way around. You push from the side heel to the little pinky, move around to the outer heel across the little pinky now.

And we'll come across these patterns a lot in class, so just enjoy this kind of sense of moving, establish what the feet are doing first. Out, good, and we center come back, okay? Again, as you see, there's a softness in my, in, in my knee sockets, yes, a real kind of softness and, again, in around my pelvis, as well, I'm not holding. Again, know what each joint is doing. What, how the bone sits out there, yeah.

Now, adding on, let's go for a roll down. So her occipitals gently pulled back, her chin softens onto her chest, and her head rolls and rocks forward. She rolls down the spine, her knees soften. Rebecca, hang there, and then gently transfer your weight from the front of the heels to the toes. Lean forward, good.

Then you're gonna rock back onto the heels and bend the knees, lift the head, and lift the chest, good. Let the, let the head drop, and you'll roll forward into a, stop there for a moment. Move to the outside of the right foot, and bend the knee, good, but keep the knee absolutely facing facing front, good, and change the outside of the left, turn the bum, And center. And again, bend the knees slightly, curl up from the tail bone, then roll up, roll up, roll up, and find your center. I will turn Rebecca sideways so you see what I'm talking about with the weight changer.

So sideways out through, good. Now, her weight is, yeah, we don't want it too far back, and we don't want it too far forward, yeah? We want it just lengthening all the way down to the front of the heels, the occipitals lifting now. Her occipitals are reaching back on the diagonal, and then the chin softens down. Her back opens out wide and softening of the knees.

Her arms drop, her weight is still in the front of the heels, good. This is nice. Now she's gonna rock forward onto her toes. She's gonna straighten the legs out, good. So she leans all the way forward into her hands.

Now her weight's in the front of the toes. Now, as she bends her knee, she rocks on, to there, to there, to there, to the mounds of the heels, lift the heart, lift the chest. And again, she pulls forward into her hands, and she leans forward. Now she's gonna move onto the outside of the right heel. She's gonna bend, but she's also gonna think of her left outer foot working, good.

And then she centers. Again, as she bends the left knee, there was lots of work happening around the outside of the left foot, but she pulls into the outer right foot and pulls her right greater trochanter out. She gets a really nice stretch out there, and she centers. Now, all she's gonna do is soften the knees, start curling up tail bone, lower, middle, good, upper, and then eventually feeling the length out of the occipitals, she stands up tall. And I always tell my, my clients open out the eyes at the back of your head.

So she has this wonderful sense of peripheral gaze, yes? And her shoulder blades are nice and wide and open. So the back ribs, yeah, again, have the space to breathe all the way through, and that openness of the sacrum, so her, that's a slight feeling of her thighs wrapping around the femur bone and lifting out of the ankle joints, yeah? Good, thank you. Let's get you sitting down.

Do it on the, the inside, yeah, first. Again, let's bring in this whole aspect of what the feet are doing, so very plain and simply, now let, let the arms come down. Just drop the arms to start first. You're gotta start by gently pushing the front of the, here, heels, yeah, and towards the toes. You get this feeling of just pushing then use the back of the heels, and gently draw them towards the sit one, just that.

Let's try and bring in the quality of what the feet will do for us. As they push, feel this wrapping sensation in the thighs, the sacrum widening, the occipitals lifting. And stop there. Without actually, when we start bending the knees by pulling the back of the heels, that's it. Then you, then you'll actually create space before you move.

Okay, and again. Front of the heels gently pushes, the feet open out, the toes splay, and then gently gather your toes, lift from the arches of the feet, feel the back of the heels draw towards the sit bones, cut out, one more time, and I'll keep quiet, stop. So just (laughs) look at what happens to the body, good. And if you notice her back ribs are beautifully open all the way through, good. Now, please have your hands forward.

This time as you push away, so again, the same dynamic from the feet, you start, tail bone curls under, and you open and look at her back reaching out through, good, and then gently start pulling, good, drop the elbows, move forward, and keep her length of back there to arch, good. Sit up tall, and then send the left hand back, and you're in twist, push out, and as she twists, yeah, right leg pushes, I want her back ribs to open, now back ribs open, and the front, greater trochanter pulls down, good. And she pulls back to center, pulled back the heels, and as she pushes out of the left. Again, that wonderful sense of lift, of grounding and still wrapping to come around, good. Pull back again.

Do that one more time, and twisting, good, as much as you look out from the heart, open out the eyes at the back of the head and back of the ribs, good, and pull back, brilliant, and, good, push up. Now, as she pushes out, there's a lotta work happening over here. She's pushing out from the outer edge of the foot and yet the inner thigh on this side will work like crazy. And then she pulls back, and she centers, good, excellent. Let's now move out facing the front, and we're gonna go sideways.

And this is really, this is the outside foot inside foot as we were talking on before, yes? So now as Rebecca, so Rebecca's just gonna kind of move, sway in with the carriage from side to side. Just do this a couple of times. So you, you get that nice feeling of what's happening around the feet, around the knees, around the hips, ribs, and occipitals. Good, there you go.

Now, so as she pushes out the side, what's happening? The outer foot really works, yes. And there's a sense of reaching out and tractioning out. This knee tractions out as she feels her ribs gently move out to the side and lean into the occipitals. Then there's a pulling sensation and that pushing sensation from the other side.

And her, again, she has to transfer her ribs and the occident; she's slightly exaggerating because I asked her to do so, but it happens naturally, yes? And again, reaching out, feel that length, good. Reach out, and don't forget your back ribs, the openness, good. And again, reaching out and pull. So normally I come and sit in front and I give my, my clients a bit of traction.

What's Rebecca slightly doing is she's lifting. She's rocking her hip forward. I would sit her, sit one down, and get more action out of the front thigh. Let's do that one more time, please. And reach out tall, good.

Good, and across, reach out, good. Now let's bring in a port de bras, so as you come through center, let's go out with a left arm, reaching out to the side, move into a side bend, beautiful, and then curve back, rounding all from the back ribs side. Move back again into your side bend, beautiful. Then bring yourself up to center, good, down, and then reach back and open, grow all the way back, good, and pull yourself back in again. Other side, and, reach out and pull up.

See it's the back ribs. From the back, it's the side ribs. From there, you come out, and to the front and reach back and keeping that twist and come back to center, so we're really addressing the ribs all the way around. One more time, please, Rebecca, and reach, good, feet, moving up into the ribs, pull all back into the back ribs. Push out into the side ribs.

Yeah, pull in to twist, and push out, arch, and open out and come back to center. Last time through, and go push, good, and pull through there, pushing and pulling. That's gonna be the, the, the motive for, with what's happening with the feet and the rest of the body and push, lean back, grow, grow, grow, grow, and come back again to center. Brilliant (claps), okay, so we've kind of established what the feet are doing and how that movement translates into the body. Let's kind of close the carriage, and let's kind of go into the split carriage now, good.

Now, at Garuda, we, we, we've actually kind of, we, we're, it's a, it's a completely different reform in the sense of it works many aspects. It's very versatile, but we have a split carriage, and it does really help us a lot. If you don't have one, you could always use a box or a plank on one side or put a towel down and then work from there so you could, you could still do this, yes? So, and let's open this out in the center, good. Can you lock one side, Rebecca, so that doesn't come out and move around?

Good, yeah, great. I'm gonna start with our knees on the carriage, good, and her hands at the edge. So I wanna create a tabletop position first, good. And once I found the length of the spine and what, that wonderful sense of grounding to the shins, I'm gonna ask Rebecca to just send her arms out forward, and feel her scapula move out and down. And then keep them there as she draws her hands back past her armpits, good.

Back, back, back, back. And again, reaching out, so I, I don't want you to wing them up at any point, yeah. And pull them back as I said a couple more times, but I want a wonderful sense of wrapping out, reaching out, and the length of the occipitals, good. Last one through. Reaching out, grow, grow, grow, grow, and come back.

Now we're gonna add onto that. As the, the hands push out, allow the body to, feels like a downward dog position, good. And pull them back up again, keeping the width of the ribs behind you, good, beautiful. And in that wrapping to reach out, grow. grow out of your ribs, into your fingers.

Be aware of the thumb and the little pinky. Be aware of the heel of the hand, pulling back, pulling back, good. The back of the heel of the hand, yes. The front of the heel of the hand reaching towards the fingertips. It's the same thing, yeah.

The back of the heel of the hand, pulling back at the fingers also work, good. Brilliant, now we're gonna add on. Push out, and stay out there, Rebecca, good. Now gently draw, squidge the shoulders in and open them out, one, good. Squidge them in and out, two.

Squidge them in, good, and wrap out the last one. Squidge in and good. Now circles, well, lift them up to the ears, pull them back, down on, good. And lift, and there, she's steady. She's really kinda steady on her shin bones.

She has this wonderful sense of someone pulling her back, good. And now let's go in opposition. Down, back around, and through. Down, squidge in, and forward. Down, squidge in, and forward.

Last one, so down, squidge up and stay out there, lower a little further down, lift the head, lift the chest, and pull the trolley in. And from there, push back out again, good. Curl from the tail bone, resist the coming in, yeah. Then pull it in towards you, good. Again, pelvis, ribs, arms, head.

From the head, lifting up, then allow the sternum to pull the carriage, good. And from the ribs into the arms into the head, start curling back, tail bone, lower, middle, upper. Let's do that one more time. And again, out, notice she really ripples from the pelvis to the hands. Keep the arms that then drop, back of the heels have to work, and front of the heels towards the fingertips.

Stop there, keep reaching out. I'm gonna make her work a little bit. I'm gonna resist with my thigh, good. And then she pulls back, and she comes in. Let's go to waves straight away, away.

Head, bend the elbows, head comes up, reach the arms out, good, and head curls in towards you, and it ripples through. Head arches. Bring the chest up, curl from the head, and back out, good. Two more, down, now through. Head curls, roll up, lovely.

And down, out through, head, now Rebecca, you can actually, as the head comes up, drop back a little bit, and it'll allow you to go further down, that's it. And curl under you, so I think that's what was missing, yeah. Sit back, it's a wave, yeah, and curl under, brilliant. Go the other way around. Let the pelvis dictate what's happening.

Arch into the head, good, and come up. And go forward, arch, and come up, good. And forward, good; it's so the front of the heels, the back of the heels, that's enough, Rebecca. Now, move your hand, the left hand, keep the right hand exactly where it is, move it under, good. Again (claps), now, be aware that the heels are really kind of well placed because that's what's gonna give the impetus.

Now, as you can, as obviously there's a small twist already and a side bend, so I really want to level her hips out. I'm pulling back from here. I'm also make her aware that, at the end of the day, because she's pulling back, her outer shin is gonna work, yeah, like crazy. And as she reaches out, I wanna make her push from the outer shin, so she has a sense of twist and her head is long, and to pull back, the inner thighs will draw and pull in, good, and let her feel the outer shins widen, gather from the inner shins to pull back and sense there's a lot happening over here. As you move, she works out in the peripheral line.

Now she lifts the head, she lifts the chest, and she comes in. Again, it's her back outer shin moving to the ribs, moving to the hand. It's her inner divine line pulling her back to center. One more time, please. A lean in, yeah, into me, good, that's it.

And lift the heart, lift the chest, good. And push up so you can, yeah, out and curl back under and through. Brilliant, let's do the other side as well. Good, play, now first place here. Know, know your measurements, yeah.

Otherwise, you'll work one side more than the other, good. Again, so now, so make a little bit more sense. As she reaches out, it's this side that rocks down. Good, push out, so it grounds us, the outer side, and so she's able to, to, to move. And then she pulls it from the inner thighs, draw back, gather the knees together, pull back.

She almost splays out the outside. She gets a nice sense of opening. And then she gathers to pull back. This is much better now already. And again, she reaches out, brilliant, stay there.

Again, lift from the head or the chest. Keep it there; now this, these ribs, the floating ribs, they have to extend more, but extend more, more, more, more, more, yeah, and then pull back, curl back under. I'm making her work a lot, by the way, huh? (laughs) And again, reaching, I'm sorry, Rebecca. But go, go for that right hand, reach it more. And there's as, as you come back, curl under so that you curl under, resist, resist, resist, resist, resist.

Now do the whole thing, push out, grow out tall, lift the head, and lift the chest, good. And push back out again through, pull back from this, ah, pull back and center, brilliant. Thank you, sorry for that. (laughs) (Rebecca laughs) Good, one knee on either carriage, and let's have our hands also placed through. Yeah, again, so there's a lot of out of, outer shin, inner shin, outer shin, inner shin, outer hand, inner hand. just be aware of that 'cause I, with the cuing, as I kinda cue you through class, move through the outsides, and then pull in from the insides, yeah?

So to start out, she, it's a tabletop position. And she's gonna push out with both the thighs widening and reaching out. That's not, don't go out too far. And you'll gather from the thumb line and, yeah, divine and the big toe line pull in towards. She's gonna work through the adductors.

Let's do that a few times: out, good. And then you'd draw back in, gather and feel the back rise, good. One more time, out, good, nice, Rebecca. And grow, so the sit bones back, tail bone back, good. Now we're gonna add onto that.

She goes out tall. Keep that there. Resist with your left hand, move onto the right side, so open out the right side, resist, the left thigh will pull, so there's a shift of weight, yes? And she pushes out, good. Yeah, and she moves onto her right side.

Her left side resists the coming in as her left knee pulls in, good, and push out. Do that a couple more times, yeah. And so it's about getting onto your standing leg. The standing, you feel the length as, yeah, the other side pulls in. One more time and reach out, good, and get out and feel these ribs will open up more.

That's better, good, and center. Come up, place the hands behind the head. Now let's talk about placing your hands behind the head because I, I see most of my clients clasp your hands, gently pull the fingers away from each other. As the elbows widen out, open the scapula aftward. Feel the back ribs open, now place the hands behind the head, the thumbs gently nudge the occipitals up, yeah, lean the head back, and elbows in your peripheral vision, good, that's really, really important, and the armpits wanting to hug someone.

You must want to hug someone, really emotionally feel you wanna give someone a big hug. It's in the, the heart kind of generously opens in the chest, and all I want you to do is open out between the legs and gather from, from the inner thighs, inner thighs, inner shins, yeah, inner, and big toe. So how that whole, 'cause it's what the bone line is doing that's so important, yes. Down, two more of those, out and kinda, and, and she's slightly in a backward inclination. This is what kinda gets her gluteus also kinda connect a little better, good, and she draws back, good.

Now we go into that phase again. We want exactly what we did. That one arm, one side, she moves into her right leg, pulls up from the right ribs and the left leg drags itself. And again, reaching out between the two legs, very present between the two legs. Now move onto your standing leg and let the other one draw in.

It's like doing tendus in ballet, yes. And again, roll ribs, yeah. You're pulling back and this occipital is really helping you lift, good. One more time, out, good. And as you come back, grow onto your leg and brilliant.

Now as add on a few archetypal shapes. Side bend, good, and come up from the standing leg, yeah. Go to the other side and come up between both legs, just kinda come up between both legs to roll up. Go onto the side, good. Come up from the standing leg in the center and out the other way, good, and move through and center.

Let's add it, a side bend and a twist, please, a twist with a curve, good. Then move back out into the side, deepen, and get onto your standing leg and come up. Let's try the other side, and go side down with it. And then you curve, good, then move out deep and into it. Now come up between both legs.

That one, let's, one more time, yeah. When you're going onto the side, the right on her side, in that case her right, yeah, the side that she's standing on, make her come up from her standing leg, good. And as she goes across the other way, good, to an opposition, yeah, make her come up from both legs. Come up from both legs and center, arch your chest forward, go, arch and down to waves now, curl, grow up. This is all between two legs, good.

Curl and grow up one more time. Reach forward from the heart, pull back. Let's go in opposition. Curl down and reach up, grow up and lift. And again, curl down and through.

Lift up and sit the last one, curl down and through, lift. This is so beautiful, good. Now, stop, and let's take our foot out to the side. Yeah, it's really good work. 'Kay, now, establish your standing leg, yeah.

When I say your standing leg, I mean your leg should and just to the hip joint under the occipital so stand up from under the occipital. That's really important. Okay, place your hands, why not? Place them there because just that armpit connection really you get those muscles sort of, sort of stabilize around us. I, I hate the word stabilize, but they really kind of comfort you and they, they hold you out there.

I feel swaddled, yeah, that's a nice word. And then from there, it just starts stretching out from the leg, into the hip, good, into the heel, all the way, relax the toes down. Now, and then you pull back in towards you and reach out, good, and good so what, for me, normal movement is ever kind of a sleepy or a held movement. It's, it, there's a lotta work happening over here, which I'm, I'd like to see, yes? So as the shin pushes down, you grab from the ribs, the, there's a slightened movement from the ribs to the occipitals I really need you to see.

You just kinda stay then and push your leg up. Every movement has to be accounted for. Yes, so every pattern, feel that grow out into it. And as you come back, there is, again, a small shift. As you push out, grow up.

Yeah, and that's it. So even the, the ribs dictating the length will still make a small difference, yeah. And again, it'll make a difference unto the sense of rolling around on the shin, the outside shin. Do that one more time, the outside leg works, and again, to come back, feel that, the, the pulling and the pushing. Good, I think you've done enough of those, and you know, yeah, and we're gonna go all the way out into a lunge, out and deep and down.

She takes her body back over her heel. She brings herself forward on her leg, then she bends in towards her. Leg out and you sit back, grow up tall, get back onto your hip onto your armpit onto the occipital and close, good. And reach out, and you sit up, and back up again, but brilliant, and let's do a port de bras as well, good, and go. And outside, and deep (grunts), delicious.

And you come back up again, find your back ribs and bend. And out, good, and reach out tall, and pull back out and center. So I'm a little, when I look at, when I look at your image when you do it, it feels a little kind of closed in. Yes, I know you're going in opposition. You're going towards the leg, but try and still keep the, the length out, out of the rib cage.

Here we go, and reaching. This way? Yeah, this way, yeah. Reaching out, good, so feel, although you're soft, keep going, keep going, keep going, feel (grunts), feel the ribs reach, there you go, and come back. It's a really nice feeling, I know, but you gotta find it on your own.

(Rebecca laughs) Do that one more time, and go. Ex, out, out, out, out, out, there you go, reach, reach, there now go, there, and then you come back. (Rebecca laughs) Good, I'm sorry about that. But do you understand what I'm after, yeah? Yes. It feels too squashy.

Yes. Again, you're closing. It's, it's that whole sense of grow out, so there's that, there's that reach and then there's soft; there's, think about that expansion before you move, good. Let's go out to the other side. Out, (laughs) I meant the other side, but that's all right.

Finish, good, okay, I see, there, there, but drop, there you go, the shoulder. Don't squidge them in, and grow out so as you come back up almost on the floating ribs guiding you. Let's go to the other side, good. Now you, you understand a little better what I mean by the rib cage action, yeah? So first things first, yeah, go down and feel the sense of, of what's happening between two legs you opened, good.

Put to the side a little clearer. So open the arms and the legs, good. And you close back using the inner thighs, good, and out, good, go, and between, come back, and out, go, good. And inner but drawing, but feel the widening as you go out, feel the closing and narrowing. Now same thing, you go out, good, yeah, but you get onto the side, and you draw back in towards you, and you reach out, good, go out, good, and there, get onto the side to pull you back.

That's brilliant. And again, out, she gets onto this side, pop, and then she pulls in. Let's get you up. Hands behind the head, good. And slight leaning back, good.

And between the two legs out, good, and she pulls grow, and out, feel that the outside legs widen, feel the inner legs pulling. Now we're gonna add on. Same thing, out, good. Move into the standing leg, into the occipital, good. It almost feels like she's, she's hitching her shoulder, but she isn't, yeah.

It's, it's the widening that's, that takes her. She's slightly exaggerated the movement, but I, it's better it's done that way so you understand what I'm after, yeah? One more out, good, and grow, good, that is addin' the shapes. Going out to the side, that's her standing side, so we move to the standing side, and we bring you up, and here we go. It's the working side.

So come up between the two legs and you center, yeah? And out a little, and she works the glut and the adductor and the other side, all the adductors work crazily, good. Let's go into the side bend, the twist and the side bend, twist, curve, keep it there. Keep the outside feet pushing out and go back deep and into it, inner thighs, pulling up. The other side, and out, this is so much better, good.

And curve, good, and oh, out and pull all yourself back up again. One more time, and out and, hah, curve, good. And that feel like you're opening your wings up in the back ribs, and center, lovely. Last time through. Reach out and back, back ribs, but the floating ribs especially, from the floating ribs, widen and open, and from the floating ribs, you lift back going straight away to the front arch, go.

Arch down, curl, but Rebecca, we might do that correction, up, well, sit, sit, sit, good. And curl back, good. Think of sitting back. There you go, and then you start up. Sit back, arch, good, curl.

Let's go in opposition and down, thank you, that was much better, good. See, I think sit back, it allows you to get the length out, out of the torso, good. Down allows you to articulate, as well. Last one through, reaching down through, and brilliant, love you, love you, love you, good. Place one, no, no, we're gonna do the sides as well.

No, my darling, place them, yeah, heel out there, good. Now again, she's standing out of her knee into the hip bone. Okay, that normally, this is, can you see her shape? I'd like her to move into the ribs, there you go, and the occipital, so it's, you know, because you're standing in your leg, yeah, one side, you want the, the ribs to also get on that leg and you wanna take your ox, your head on that leg. It does, it doesn't have kinda stabilizing in the center.

You are on one leg; get onto that one leg. This is really important. People don't do that enough. And keeping that sense of staying on that leg, reach out, good, and then pull back in again, good. Now, let's talk about what's happening on this.

Let's stop a bit. Feel this knee reach as the heel pushes down, get that nice sense of rotation. Keep the knee out, pull the foot, and then you can drop it into the socket. So first, out, so how does that happen? The knee pulls out, the heel pushes down, and then rotation.

Keep the knee there, pull it in, keep the length outta the socket, then you can soften through, good. One more time, that's better already, good, thank you. And pull back in again, good, really well done. Now reach out, same thing, out, go, go with the leg and see, she sits back, and I use the hip bone to bring, that's beautiful, and bring you back up again. I couldn't fault that.

Reach out, and you sit down. Now, from the hip bone the, yeah, better, much better. And two more, out and you sit, beautiful, and come back up again, good. And you bend, last one through, keep it as you got, good, and you sit and then come back up again, good, arms, here we go, port de bras, and going. And out, good, and side, okay, and then from the floating ribs, you center, good, reach out, yeah, and go, side.

Don't, don't squidge those, good. And these floating ribs and center and out, good, and around, and reach up and center, good, and out, and now good. Use, use the floating ribs up and center, beautiful, good. Turn around to the other side, good. Now, face up front, good.

Yeah. Good. Ha, (laughs) and so, there's a lot of the shin work, yes, a, I, I like it because it really makes you use your thighs in a very different way, and so, so much more surface to push against so it makes it more interesting, moving wise. So again, she's got a slight turn for, it's the fourth position here, comes from your ballet and, and modern kind of dance, yeah. And she's up, leaning up quite tall, back ribs expressed themselves, and again, the side ribs are very aware.

As she puts, pushes out, she still keeps forward on her leg. And then she bends the knee back in again, yeah. She softens, now this, I find this too much, I, tension over there. I want her floating ribs again to, to keep singing, yeah. And come back in again, good.

And again, floating ribs and the occipitals lift up tall, good, and there, that's a better shape all, already and soften the front ribs, just soften through, good. And center; let's do the work now. So you push out and you sit back tall, good. And again, come up, widening your hood in the back, bend the knees. Now I use this term open your cobra hood out, yeah.

So push out, think all the way from the pubic bone past the navel, past the heart, this hood opening up and lifting you up. Two more times, push up, and bend, open those back ribs out, the diaphragm widens, again, occipitals lift, center. Last one through and reach out, stay out there, bend the knee out to the side and push out for one, good. And again, wide back, two. Can you take your hands off?

And good, three, okay, so good. And bring these, now four, she's doing them automatically. And five, now come up from the armpit, armpit pulls you forward. Hang on, hang on, I know, yeah, (laughs) good. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

I actually threw her off balance. It's my fault. Here we go, good, well done. Okay. There's a lot more work happening around, yeah, the obliques over here, all these big back muscles.

So as she said we'd, those were the side muscles we use. Now we're really working out to the front, yes, that lift from the front, now. Push out again. One, good, and stay don't, yeah, don't go with the moment, stay on the leg. The first one you slack, you went back and it almost moved over the leg.

There you go, better. Good, better, and out, so much better, good. Now add on, foot, knee, hip, sit back onto your heel, good. And then you come back up again, good what's happening there, good, and go, foot, knee beautiful, good, better. Now what I know is not happening and again, foot, knee, hip would go out there.

Use the arch of the foot, widen the toes, push down, so don't forget that joint. That joint's really (claps), the ankle joint is so important. Push out, yeah, that, now stay there. Open the knee out to the side, good, and one, open, and then two and oh, that's it. I want more kind of collarbone shown up there, good.

And out, good, this is so much better out there. And through, now come forward from the ribs, back ribs, that's it. Now stay there, keep the back ribs open as you bend the knees out, floating ribs, floating ribs, floating ribs. Good and soft and good. Okay, brilliant.

Okay, it's my, it's my, it's my little mantra. Floating ribs and occipitals, yes? Because (laughs) once they, they open and they flare out the back of the body, and they give it that sense of hood, yeah, from this, from the pubic bone all the way behind the navel, yeah, you're following the line of the pelvic floor. You're into the psoas into the diaphragm. And then we'll take it even further.

Moving up into the occipitals and pulling it over the fulcrum, so you're creating this inner hood that lifts you up, yeah, to the, the back and all these big muscles of the back need to come into attention. We're, we've been (slaps chest) we're always working the front, no, no, no. It's the back that really gives you a sense of who you are. Now, stand you up over here and let's have your, the heel of the hands dropping again right to the edge, good. Now, remember, I, I asked you to lean forward in the beginning of classes?

That's gonna be the kind of risk you're gonna take over here. And you're gonna start by gently pushing forward even more and let the arms continue on their journey as you move to the front of the body, good. Into your plank, pull the arms just back into the shoulders and lift the sternum just a tiny bit. Push them back out again, let the heels drop, curl from the, see, don't let that go, let the heels drop, curl from the tail bone, round the back, and stay forward, forward, forward, good. Feel the sense of dropping.

Don't move the arms. Let the movement trans, migrate through, yeah, the ribs and the head, good, push back out again. Now go back, heels, tail bone, lower, back, (laughs) middle back, then the head at the end. You still wanna move your head first. Okay, do that one more time and go, push out.

Unravel into the head, pull the hands under the armpits, good, push out and heel, tail bone, keep the length, good, and center. Now, bring the right foot forward and place it between and here we go. Same thing, push out, but slight difference. Keep the hips square, good. Bend the front knee, lift the heart, lift the chest, good.

Push out from the hands in to the floor. Resist with the hands as you draw the carriage back, yeah? As the feet push out into the pelvis, ribs, head and hands, stay there, and pull the carriage in, but now resist with the foot. Now the foot pushes out through and through, and now resist with the arms as the leg draws you in, good. Let your (indistinct) open the right arm out to the side.

And now, to open the right arm to the side, the left arm, the back arm is gonna go for a small rotation so you can roll out of the ribs into the hand and fingers, wrist, elbow, shoulders, you soften to come back. The left hand pushes down, the ribs open, open the floating ribs, that's good, fingers, wrist, elbow, shoulders, and you, let's do that one more time 'cause it is quite beautiful, yeah? And again, rotate, reach and open, good, fingers, wrist, elbow, shoulders, and you come back. Great, other side. Rebecca, that was beautiful, good.

Now place. Now, the impetus from the feet, sorry (laughs). Okay, but that's what I want you at. Feel like, yeah, it's, it's the, the feet are pushing into the pelvis, into the ribs, into the arms, good. Let the head lift.

You pull the trolley in towards you. Push from the feet and the hands to go out. Now resist from the hands as the foot draws back. Let's do that one more time. And go push out, good, and gently draw the carriage in towards your hands and feet.

Again, push out to resist the hands, curl back, keep the depth. Now watch, it's her right arm that screws out to the floor and her ribs open. I would like to give her that length, good. And then she brings it back in, and she curls, good. And again, that weight from the floating ribs that we've done that nice work in the kneeling down, didn't we, good?

And that's exactly what we wanna bring in here and come back, good. And bring her foot back, good, and let's roll up to the spine, good. Aw, that was good work. Really, really good work, okay. I'd, I'd like us to come off and let's do a bit of done ruler, as well, (clicking) but let's do our done rule work on the floor, yes?

That's gonna place, good, now lock it on the side that you opened it. Yeah. I'm gonna put on a wide spring here. (metal clangs) Yeah, let's put on a wide spring, and let's have you, let's have you kinda kneeling right to the edge over here, good. Let's have our hands on, got 'em, and all, all we're gonna do again, that same line of, that, the kneeling down work that we did, Rebecca, have your hands a little further forward, so if you notice that she's in a flying position.

Her knees are not at the edge, but slightly in. All she's gonna do is pull with her hands, and she's gonna rock forward, good, and she's gonna rock back. I'm just gonna put the knob over here, good. And she's gonna rock forward and back so that wonderful work around the serratus, rock forward, good. And she's gonna rock back now.

She's gonna rock forward, she's got the chin into chest, she curls, and she draws everything into her, good. Keep the head there, allow the knees, the ribs, the armpit and the head to reach back, rock back, and again, forward and chin to chest first, curl under, curl under, curl under, beautiful, good. And she's gonna unravel the spine from the pelvis. Reach and rock back. Let's bring a push-up into this, yes.

And forward, and bend the elbows, good. And push back out again, grow chin to chest, roll under, beautiful, and round this tall back, good. And keep that there, and knees, roll back. Good, last one through. Arms pulling, chin to chest rolling out, there but, I'm sorry, good, (laughs) she's, she's doing a push-up.

Forgot to mention that, good. And Rebecca never leaves anything out. She's quite the perfectionist. And drop back, good, now sit back, and let's give you a little bit of a, a rest. That was good, that was really good.

So it's that whole thing as she pulls, that wrapping and she draws these muscles around, and it's really kind of, it's not only your obliques that surrounds it, there's a whole sheet of them, yeah. It's like a marriage of muscles behind. They are wrapped around the ribs. They really support the ribs. So very often my, my clients, "Oh, my wrists are hurting." No, you get these serratus muscles engaged, they're gonna take away the weight from the wrists, yeah.

So it's really important. Get them on their hands as much as you can. And there's so many intricate muscles, again, that kind of, that round the wrist and into the hands and you want to keep them alive and dextrous. Go back again, but this time on your elbows, yeah, good. Now, again, the same feeling with the armpits are gonna work, yes, and there's a bigger surface that's much easier now for, in a, to a certain degree, yeah, but try not to break in the lower back.

So you're gonna pull yourself forward, chin curls in towards you. You can also straight away into it, good. And then she's gonna unravel the pelvis, the spine, keep the curve, and then unravel into the heart, good. Gather, see, elbows gently pull in, then the chin pulls in, then you come up, good. And again, keep, keep that, keep it back there.

And then unravel through and center. And two more of these, and pull forward chin to chest first, then lift from the pubic bone to the tail bone, good. Keep that connection of the elbows. Gather the elbow together. Don't let them go, and let them come back, good, and it's the gathering of the elbows, chin to chest, lifting of the pelvis, good, stay there.

And then knees, ribs, and the armpits can soften to it. Come back again, and we're gonna take a little bit of rest. Now what I did, the mention was, yeah, again, what's my measurement? Hand to elbow, hand to elbow, out of here. before you start the movement, it's the wrapping around.

So feel the outer, should kind of really roll, and there's a spiraling action. So, so the scapular widen, then there's a pulling action. For spiraling pulling, the head pulls then you really wanna concentrically curl in towards you. That's the real kind of, the secret of it, yeah. So to real curl like, a coquillage, yeah, a shell, and then from this a pelvis, then that also requires a lot of control.

Pelvis, lower, middle whilst you actually move back. So there's a lot of work over there, yeah? Good, we're gonna go into, did I take the spring out of it? There's no spring. There's no spring, perfect.

We're gonna finish up with the handstand preparations. Again, what we use with our feet, same thing, pulling and pushing. Rebecca, I think you can come forward over in this space over here, if you want, good. The toes kind of round under. She's on the balls of the feet.

She's gonna rock forward just a tad. Now, then it's her head that curls under, and she's gonna lean into the space. She's gonna rock herself back, good. And then she's gonna rock back from the fingers to the heels, and rocking forward to the fingertips, her head curls under, and it's more about the pelvis lifting. From there, she rocks back, good, and she reaches back into the heels.

One more time, she's gonna do it on her own, good. Out, good. I'm just here to help a bit in case she needs it, good. And down, and you rock back, good, rock forward chin to chest, and then you look into, can you look into your navel? Thank you, yeah, it feels frightening.

And again, reach, I, keep the head there. Keep the head there, brilliant, brilliant, and amazing. Good, so back, that was great. Really, really well done, good. Now as a treat (laughs), okay, I'm gonna give her a really nice stretch.

And I think you can also do this with the reforms. (metal clangs) Want me to lock it? Or don't want it? You know what? I'd like, yeah, let's, let's lock the carriage together.

Lie yourself down, good. And, good, I have a gently holder. Let's lift your knees up for now to a 90 degree angle, good. I'm going to this feeling, pulling and pushing, 'cause we haven't done anything really for the lat. We did a lat work, but I really want you to get this feeling of, as you pull against something, feel the little pinky wrap around, feel the elbows lift out to the side.

That pulls the scapula out of the back ribs open, yeah. That's feeling good, and then gently, heel of the hands, move into, into the carriage and they push away, and as they push away, open and lean your back back and then pull, wrap around, good. And then push, good, and again, pull, good, and push. You could use this on your (indistinct), yes, just to kind feel what's happening, how you grow out and the push, you lean back, and feel the back ribs open. And this is the premise for our pulling and pushing up.

And, and sometimes I get, I get people to pull with the left, push with the right, good, and that translates all the way down the spine into the pelvis, pull it and push, and they would even feel it moving into the inner thighs, yeah. Pull it and push it, there's that wonderful sense of the ribs are also moving and pull it and push out, good, and pull and push, good. And come back to center, good. This time, just straighten your legs a little further, small bend of the knees, pull with the hands and roll the pelvis, the lower, the middle, and reach out, good. Now what I get people to do is once they've arrived there, to get the length out of the psoas, I ask them to stick the, the tail bone out a little bit, good, and then from there, start pushing on the heel of the hands and try and get the bra line down, good.

Push into it, then let the legs slide. Keep pushing, yeah, and try and bring the thighs onto the lower belly, good, and roll the tail bone down and aright, good. It's a really nice stretch. And reach, and as you go, finish by sticking the tail bone out, good. And then, tail bone curls as you push, move more into that lay-up of the thoracic spine, good, and then, oh, as you push, so that wrapping, wrapping around action, good, and through.

Let's take it one step further. And again, pull gently and reach. Now she pushes up, and she lifts the right, up, good. Brilliant, and then she pulls her back down, and she lift the left, but don't lose that inner thigh, that wrapping inner thigh connection, good, and back down again, good, and back up again, right, and it's a really nice position to be in, and if you'll allow me, neck a shoes, yes, and push back up again, grow, good. The wrapping around, yeah, so this is your inversion.

I always like to bring in inversion in class. One more time, the right, the right foot goes up, keeping inner thigh connection, the left foot goes up to meet it, good, yeah. Well, she lost it good there. Then to make matters worse, I say, Rebecca, can you place your right hand on your right thigh? Push with the left, good.

Can you place your left hand? Good and reach out back, go reach out of the back, grow, stand between the shoulder blades again and go, oh, my, the back of my neck. No, I promise you, it's, it's not as bad as you, you need to get those, those neck muscles strong, yeah. Then from there, take the hands back on again, good. And gently, lower the legs over, good.

Take a good deep in breath. And when you're ready, start pushing with the heel of the hands and start rolling back, rolling back, rolling that, go reach, reach, reach, and then come back to center, good. Good, give, give your feet (Rebecca laughs) a good (laughs) shake out, good. And let's finish off as we started. You are standing up.

Let's see what her body feels like. Again, your, your ribs should be, the back rib should be singing hallelujah, yes? Yeah. Okay (laughs), I'll turn you out to the side, okay. Again, so one of the things we're thinking about, I think of five major kind of places where the big joints assembles, of the ankle joint, and the knees, the hips, yeah, the ribs are like, there's a whole thing, a whole committee going on by themselves, and then there's the occipitals.

Of course, the shoulder blades, they float all the way around. Now it's like, it's like really having a, a canvas to play with. Again, all your weight's slightly in front of the heels, that nice wrapping action. My, my, my, another good tip is I say, push your shin bones into the ankle bone joint, yes. Shim, but then lift the femur bones out of the shins.

Yeah, so you have a two-way kind of action going on, good. And once she's done, and she's found the legs, the widening, the sort of widening of the sacrum of the wrapping around of the thighs to lift, moving on to those wonderful big back muscles, those QLs, they're like, I can open up like curtains, yeah. for the, the opera house curtains, so it's really open and back so the back starts widening, good. And then the scapula, you've done your flying for the day, so you, your wings just drop, and as you move up the back of the neck, into the back of the head, feel like you're opening out the eyes of the back. Try to look over the neighbor's wall behind you.

What's happening out there? What's that's, that's kind of a feeling, inquisitiveness out there. And again, as you look out, you look out with the generosity of your heart. That's very important, to always have that wonderful sense of openness. Work from the organs and there's too much talk about with legs and feet.

We didn't even bring any organs into it. Now, as your chin softens down, you wanna feel the length of the occipitals back so you kinda get that dropping, the shoulders widen, the ribs soften and open, and you just drape over your thighs, good. Move your weight forward into your hands. And as you move your weight back onto the heels, bend the knees and sit, lift the heart, lift the chest, good. And push down and rock forward, good.

Take a chance, good. See where it'll take you, good. And then, again, rock back to the heels, bend the knees, and lift the heart, good. From there, again, chin to chest roll down forward as you are, move to the right knee, bend it. This hand moves to the outside of the left so you get a deep sense of stretching out to the greater trochanter and the other side.

Bend, the knee stays forward, but move out and purposely pushing her off center, and center, good, and again, yeah, think of the inner thigh over here, but the greater trochanter on this side, flatten, and the opening through and center. Last one through, and move good, and center; now, as you soften into the knees, roll up. Now find the front of the heels, find the adductors, find the gentle lift in the pelvic floor, the lower back muscles, the scapula are reaching out, and feel the occipitals growing up tall. Feel like I'm lifting you, but you're dropping the heels, good, and there we are. Masterpiece, good. (Rebecca laughs)

Rebecca, thank you so much. Guys, so, it was mainly about heels with the hands. When I see is the back of the heel of the hand, the mound, the front, yes, And of course, again, the balls of the feet and the, and the toes with the pulling and the, the widening. So when you do your work on the hands, be aware that you have that connection, the outer hand, the inner hand, because again, it'll bring a lot of delicacy to your work, add a lot of finesse to your work. And that's what it's really, it's about the little thing, the subtleties that completely change your work, and that's really important.

At least I've found that in my life. Thank you (claps), thank you, thank you for joining us. And, yeah, please keep coming back to, to the classes. Thank you.

Garuda Flows: Deep Embodiment


Rhiannon F
3 people like this.
A very enjoyable class. I love this method.
James Hi  how are you  I Miss U !!! 
You Looks so well.  I hope to see you again soon 
Please come to Seoul 
by your twin sister  

Kristine Sommerlade
Hi James,
as always, great and inspirational class. It's wonderful that there is a second instalment of your repertoire.
Fern K
Dear James,
It's so much fun to have more of this creative material to play with on the Reformer. I especially like the kneeling quadruped sequence, which I managed to do on my Allegro Reformer with the footbar down and a yoga mat folded up on the standing platform (similar to what you suggested).
Sending you best wishes,

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