Class #5007

Yoga-Inspired Circuit

50 min - Class
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You will have fun in this feel-good but challenging Reformer workout by Courtney Miller. She teaches a yoga-inspired circuit designed to challenge your stability and move your spine. She uses big movements to create heat in your body in addition to still moments to work your balance.
What You'll Need: Reformer, Standing Platform

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Hi, I'm Courtney and I have my friend and fellow teacher, Elena with me. Elena is a badass yoga instructor. So when I created her flow, I knew that I had to get some killer yogi moves in there. It's gonna be a hard class. It's gonna be a feel good class, though.

I feel like the more you push it, the better those stretches feel. We're gonna create some heat with some big movements, and we're gonna challenge our stability. And I think above all this class, we're gonna really move our spine. You ready to get started? Let's do it.

Cool! Okay. So we're gonna be using the platform extender later. If you have one, grab one. If you don't, I'll do what I can to walk you through it. We have our spring set at one blue that's for later.

And we have our foot bars down all for later, because we're gonna start with our floor sequence first. Let's do our right leg up into a table position. Try to use the abdominals to pull that leg up. Take your hands to prayer. Stand really tall into that Tadasana feeling, driving your standing heel down.

Rotate towards your bent knee and smile. (laughs) And then rotate back through center. The opposite hand to leg is gonna touch the ground, as you reach back as if you're doing like a Warrior three, you wanna stretch that back leg dorsi flex the foot, drop the hip, and then rise back up. And let's keep going on this side. So we're gonna turn, come back and tap. And if you're having any problems with balance, keep going Elena, then just go beside something.

You could use a chair, you could use the wall, you could bump your footbar up and you could use that. So keep going. Rotation comes from the mid spine. The hinge comes from the hip. So what you're gonna start to feel maybe now, or maybe in a few more reps is your standing leg glute. We're doing about eight.

I think that's five or six. I'm a terrible counter, but you know that about me. When your leg comes to table, really pull it up though. Yeah, mm-hm, kick it back. Nice and tap the floor. Okay, one more. Lift, twist.

Perfect, so you wanna get wobbly and rise, and you could stand on both feet. And just for a second observe how one side feels a little different than the other. That's the work, it's working. Take your other leg up. Take your palms to prayer. Drive your standing heel down, pull up through the knee.

Rotate towards the bent leg. Back to center you go. It's the opposite hand reaching down, rise, twist, center and kick it back. Lots of abdominals working here to keep you feeling balanced and keep you feeling center. Nice, twist, center, tap. Keep going, you've got four more.

Being wobbly is a good thing. If you are wobbly here in the studio, then you're gonna be stronger out there in real life. You have to push it to train your body, to recover from the wobble, right? So if you never wobble, you never learn how to restabilize and find that center. Turn, center, tap one more time.

Twist, kick it, and rise, cool! Okay, so now we're feeling balanced. We're gonna create some more heat in our hips. Take a really wide position with your stance, knees and toes turned out, and sit as deep and as low as you can. And I think what you'll find is once we do this series a few times you'll get even lower to the ground. We're gonna do an up movement.

Think about a star, growing your branches, back down into that low squat, hands down. Step or hop back to a plank, step, or hop forward, hands to prayer and then grow it. And you can pick the tempo. Back up lift. Now you could, if you wanted to get more cardio burn jump when you're at the top. Back, up, jump when you're at the top.

Keep going about 10 here, eight or 10. Nice. When you're in the squat, try to get your chest up. So your shoulders are over your hips. Yes, so you're using all those back muscles, your back extensors. Yep, one more time. Nice.

Go down to the squat and hold it, pause here. So lift your chest a little bit higher if you can. Yes. So every time you go into the squat, try to feel that chest lift. Come on up to standing. Nice! Into core, we go. It's already been a lot of core, but let's keep going.

We're using our carriage as a mat, lie down. Come into your chest lift, hands behind your head. Curl up really high. Good. Flex your feet. Pull your baby toes back. Push your big toes forward. Extend your right leg.

Twist the knee that's bent, and then switch and switch. That's it! Elbows are wide. There's not a lot of springs on the carriage, so if you feel it wobbling around, you might be using a bit of momentum. Good. I'd say that's about five, right. Now, you're gonna add an opposite arm, reach.

Think of your elbow coming to the outside of that thigh. Nice! Pelvis is staying stable. We got three. We got two, get ready to hold. It doesn't matter what side you're on hold.

Now, the straight leg is gonna lift up to the ceiling for five, nice. And you're gonna keep reaching through that hand, four, perfect, three, and two, lift and twist. And one, bend your knees and turn to the other side. Hold it, freeze it. Lift the leg up and down, one. Good, pushing through that heel.

Staying heavy in that glute, that's three. That's four and five. Help yourself come back up. She's a pro, makes it look easy. All right guys, we are ready for our reformer flow. That's what we have that blue spring on.

Meet me in straddle, facing back, hips low. The closer you are to the shoulder blocks, the more work you're gonna feel. Place your hands on the shoulder blocks, and try to pull them underneath you as you lift your chest and look up. Now, keep this shape in your spine. Lean forward. Get your chest as low to the carriage as you can.

Cool, now, round your spine, bringing the carriage all the way in, look up and do it again. Try to smooth out the edges. I think of like an infinity sign. You know how there's no end, no beginning? Lean in extension, come up through the C, scoop.

One more time like this, lean and come up. Now we reverse, so before you press the carriage out, come into that big scoop. Like try to get your top knot down towards the carriage, and then push out and you extend to come up. I think about taking a deep breath, right? Like if I was diving down through a wave, I'm like coming up for air. (breathes in sharply) And then going back down. (blows breath out) And coming up for air.

Two more, round, lift, one more. Use those abdominals and lift. Cool. You feel your legs? Swing that right leg over, and then meet me in a low T position. Take your non-working hand to the small of your back.

It's gonna remind you to pull those abs in and up. And then kind of align yourself with your machine. You're pushing the carriage forward and bending. Good. Keep going. If you want the exercise to feel harder, step forward, lighter, step back.

Really stretch that back leg long. It's part of your stability system. So as the back leg stays long and lifted that glute is gonna stay on and working. Two, one more time, and one. Now, bring the carriage in and tap your back leg down behind you.

And as you push the carriage out, lift that leg up. There you go. Keep going. The spine isn't moving. I could balance a tennis ball on her low back. I could come up with something way more creative than a tennis ball.

I paused there, I was like, what am I gonna balance on her back? Okay. Gimme three more here. When the arm pushes forward, keep the shoulder blade down, so that we're not losing the neck, two. Nice, and one. Now, step that right foot onto the carriage, both hands on the shoulder blocks.

You want that foot sort of centered in between the shoulder blocks. And then you're gonna bring your left leg, cross your ankle behind and meet me in like this little tiny squat. And I think of a seed. So press your forehead towards your knees. Pull your abdominals in and up away from your thighs.

Press down into the shoulder blocks, and then press into that Warrior three-like position. So the hips are still level, that back foot's flexed. And then come back into your little tiny seed, and then kick it out. So the spine is moving from flexion into that neutral line. Good, keep going. Flexion and long line.

Nice! Driving your heel down, as you rise up, finding the glute on that standing leg, three to go. Awesome, two. And on the next one you're gonna hold. So press that leg out. Keep that spine long. Now, instead of going down to the squat, we're gonna send that right foot through the shoulder blocks, coming into like a low pistol squat.

So bend that knee and use your abdominals, yeah. that's the easy part. The hard part is getting back up. So bend the knee. You kinda lean into the upper body just a little bit, right, to get there, and then send it through. Good, and then pull and kick.

See if you can do three more. Nice, press and kick. Good. I'll keep that carriage steady for you girl. And press and kick one more. Good, and kick and hold. You feeling okay in your glutes?

Whoo! We're gonna step that left foot back to the wooden platform. And then we're gonna come down into a side plank facing towards the camera. Cool. And then stay lifted in your side body. Take your top hand behind your head, stack your shoulders, 10 hip dips. So send your hips as low as you can tap that mat.

Lift them as high as you can really work that rainbow shape as you lift, down and up. Press down to rise up. We got five. We got four, inner thighs are working, three, and two and one, hold it here. Reach your top arm up to the ceiling. Hips come up. You're gonna reach the top hand towards your ankle, and all the way back up.

So hips come up. Reach. Yes, that pike is so on point. Lifting the hips and reaching. Cool. And reaching, two more. Big twist. Big reach.

One more, and take a break, take your knees down. Take a rest. Reset. That was so good. That pike, bam! Facing back, we're gonna do the same thing. So meet me in that low position. We'll start in the reverse. So we're gonna start with flexion. So lock out the arms.

It's not an arm exercise, it's a spinal mobility challenge. Round your spine, push, lift. Round your spine, scoop, lift. Make those movements big, exaggerated, two, awesome, one. (breathes out) Reverse, so flat back or extension down, scoop to come up. (breathes out heavily) Keep going.

The breath will really help you move your spine, right? Generally we're exhaling to scoop, inhaling to lengthen, one more time. Good. Keep those hands on the shoulder blocks. Bring that carriage all the way in and now swing your left leg around to meet your right. Take your left hand onto the shoulder block, right hand to the small of your back.

Make any adjustments you need to. You're sort of aligned with the rail of your machine. Stay square, bend that standing knee a lot, and push that carriage forward, nice. So what you're going for in this position is the alignment of your ears, shoulders, hips, and back heel, flex that foot. Yes, all one long line.

Why is this a core exercise when you're not doing crunches? Because she's wrapping her abdominals front to back, pulling everything in. Add that leg when you're ready. So send the leg down when the carriage comes in, and yep. And then lift the leg up as the carriage comes in. Yes.

So from this side you might be able to see better. It's challenging to keep the shoulder down as the arm extends up or forward, but you can do it. You just have to slide your shoulders down and back. Activate that strong shoulder girdle behind you. One more time.

Nice. Take both hands onto the shoulder blocks. Step that left foot up. You wanna position that foot in preparation for that Warrior three squat sequence. So not too close to those shoulder blocks. Find your long spine.

Lean back a little bit over your heel, and I want you to be a bit light in your toes. Nice, and then we come into that little tiny seed. So you're in flexion, and then press out into that long line, keep going. Yes. Cool. Small seed everything's in and up, and then big shape kicking back, good.

Elena's got some amazing hip extension. She's able to get that leg super high, while keeping her pelvis level. So you do you, point those hip bones straight down when the leg is extended back. Nice, two to go. Cool, one more.

And then hold it here. So stay long, stay strong. Do you remember the flow? You have to use your abdominals. So you're gonna bend that right knee in, extend the leg through the shoulder blocks, sit low, pause. Try to pull your right foot up higher. Nice. Now, tuck your knee to your chest, kick it back.

This is my harder side too, which is why I'm not doing it. (laughs) And then bend and kick it. So one side might be easy peasy, the other side might be near impossible. Good. Let me stabilize that carriage, let's go. And kick it. hold it up.

And then heel to booty, kick it back, two more. You're almost there, don't give up now. Good, we've got that side plank coming up, and compared to this, the side plank is gonna feel like you're taking a break. Hold the next one, hold it up, hold it up. Good. Okay, so plant this back foot and then see if you can get into the side plank without dropping that knee.

So you're gonna come down onto the forearm and then kick it back. There you go. It's all in the transitions. Take your hands behind your head. You're gonna drop, tapping the hips. Lift as high as you can, down. Big scoop to come up.

Down, big scoop. When I do this exercise, this is my honest to goodness visualization, keep going. I think of a lasso, like a rope tied around my waist. It's like hoisting me up, dropping me down, hoisting me up, dropping me down. Does that make any sense? Okay, a little bit.

Two more makes 10. And then keep your hips up. Reach your arm to the sky. You've got those pikes for six. Reach to your opposite ankle. Close that carriage if you can and lengthen out.

Good. Try to get your hand towards this foot. Reach, yeah. Cool. And then scoop, reach. Nice, two to go. Hips, go up, reaching back. One more, and take a break, not really.

Lie down on the carriage. We're gonna do jackknife. What? Jackknife? Okay. So we don't have a lot of springs on, so try not to move that carriage. It's an indicator that you're using a lot of momentum if this thing's moving. So if it moves a lot in the beginning, that's something to work towards, right?

Okay, legs are up, table. Hands are down. Close the ribs, extend the legs on an angle as low as you can, keep everything closed, connected, contracted. Then we exhale into that inversion where the legs are parallel to the floor. You can see your knees. Look at them, stretch them really, really straight.

Now, take your hands, bend your elbows and poke your butt. Yep, This is what's gonna work to lift your legs up. Ready? Hands back down to the mat. Use your glutes up, up, up, up, up you go. Notice how my voice didn't really change a lot.

It's 'cause I'm not on my neck. Then start to roll down until you get to this really shaky, difficult place, and then exhale the rest of the way down, okay? So we go up. (blows breath out) And we lift, inhale like an elevator. Use those glutes, strong arms. Start to lower down, that's my exhale.

And then take it down the rest of the way. Four more. Let's see what you got, girl. Take it up and over. So wait until you're parallel. Good. Squeeze the buns. Squeeze the inner thighs.

Go up, up, up, up, up. Good. Now start to roll down toes over nose. And the rest of the way down. We got that carriage moving. Let's do it again all the way up. Good. And then use the glutes higher, higher, higher.

Squeeze the inner thighs, even more. You got it. Yes! And now keep your toes right over your chin as you start to roll. Take your time, take your time, and then control. Let's do one more. And then we get to that floor sequence again.

Whoo! That's the light at the end of the tunnel. All the way up jackknife, straight up. Find that long line. And then you roll through the shoulder blades first, and then you control it down. Bend your knees in. Give yourself a little bit of loving.

That is good. Yeah. Roll to one side, help yourself come up. What I love about the floor sequence is that first little part is all about centering, right? So let's find center again. Draw the right leg up.

Use the abdominals, palms in prayer. This is a single leg Tadasana. So pull up through your kneecap on your standing leg, press down through your heel. Pull up through your frontal hip bones. Think of a wave of energy coming up the front and down the back.

We twist, we untwist, it's the opposite hand to foot down. Rise, we twist. Oh, it seems so calm now. And rise, rotate. And tap, eight in total.

I want you to feel fatigued. Those small muscles in your foot, they get tired kind of quick. That's the point. That glute stabilizing your standing leg. Ooh, it is working so hard.

Notice that the rotation is coming from that mid back area, so you can leave your lower body exactly as it is when you twist. That's called disassociation. One more time awesome. And rise. Good, find center for a second. Take a moment. Take a breath. Draw the other leg up. Use your abdominals to do so.

We go right into that rotation. And then opposite hand reaches down. Good. When I reach my opposite hand down, I intuitively bend my standing knee a bit. Do you do that too? Or you keep it straight? Yeah.

So we keep it nice and straight in the stand, in the Tadasana, the mountain pose. But then when we go into that touch, or that Warrior three variation, it softens a bit. And let me tell you how that works the body a little bit differently. When the leg is straight, your quadriceps are working to hold you. It's like this unison between the front and the back.

As soon as you soften that knee, ooh, that work changes. So that side booty. Glute medius helps to hold you up when the knee is soft. One more time. I think I'm being generous with this counting.

Okay, and rise. Here we go into our wide squat. So let's all meet here for a second. Yeah, so I know that there's poses in yoga where you're pushing your elbows into your knees, and you're getting that squeeze. I want a more vertical position if possible here, getting the shoulders up over the hips, working that hip mobility. We rise. We are down.

We step or hop, we're up. We rise, we're down. Boom, boom. Yeah, keep going. Because it's that hinge and lift that really gets into strengthening those posterior muscles, those posture muscles in your back. Do you wanna add a jump when you're up? I'll do it with you.

Okay. Whoo! Back, back, up. Back, back, up, two more. Yes, up! One more. Awesome! Yes.

You're like the only person who does one more, when I say one more. Whenever I say one more, they like use the repetition they're currently in as that one more. Oh, all those cheaters. Okay. Then we have our yoga bicycle, so lie down. Take the legs up. Hands behind the head, flex the feet.

One leg straight, twist towards the knee that's bent. And then switch, switch. I think from a Pilates background, it feels really different to be in dorsi flexion than plantar. I find more rooting down into my sit bones, and it's actually a little bit more intuitive to keep my pelvis level. Add your arm reach when you're ready. Yes.

If it is easy for you to get your elbow to touch the outside of your thigh, then aim for higher, like think about your armpit. Yes. Good. The next time you twist hold it, doesn't matter what side. The straight leg lifts up for five. Keep pulling those toes down, four.

'Cause as your heel drives up, your hip drives down. There's opposition, right? There's those two directions. Nice Elena, switch sides and scoop. Flex that foot. Get that foot torque. Let me see those yogi toes, spread them, yes.

That's three. That's two. And that's one, you're up. And if you wanna do a forward fold, or anything that feels natural, now's the time to do it. We don't need to do any changes.

Our machines are good. We ready. So let's straddle, but this time we get to sit down. You're all smiles. I love it. She even knows what's coming next and she's smiling. Okay. So grab one strap.

We're gonna do our left and put it around the arch of your left foot. Feet on the ground. Try to squeeze your calves into the frame of the machine, and come to your squat hover that you've been to before. Take your hands behind your head. Close those ribs if you can.

And we're gonna do an around the world movement with the thoracic spine. So lean towards the left, but keep your shoulders stacked over your hips, perfect. Now deep in that abdominal wall, scoop, come all the way over to the right. Look up, pull the elbow up. And then come back around and through, three, up.

Two, up. One up, take your hands onto the shoulder blocks. Step the foot that doesn't have the strap up. Kind of reminding us of our setup. We've sort of been here before.

And then you're gonna pull your back leg up finding that Warrior three again. You can flex the foot, drop the hips off in you're standing knee. Lean back, so it's like you can almost let go with your hands. Yeah, you don't have to, but I'm impressed that you can. And then swing the leg down, and then swing the leg up, five.

Four, there's an exclamation point when it's at the top. Boom. Pause, hit it. Let me see your hold. Yep. Then take it down, good, two. Nice. And then on the next one, hold the leg up. See if you can hold that leg up. Come down to your knee.

Turn, so your right forearm is down. Yeah. And then swing that leg back. Good. You're doing circles, so forward, down and around. Yeah, but I want these circles to be bigger. 'Cause I know you've got a lot of hip mobility.

So forward, forward, forward, down, scoop to come up. Good. And then you can do three in the other direction. Try to lean your hips a little bit more forward, so it feels like your pelvis is over that supporting knee. Yep. Good.

Was that three and three? Yeah, it was. Cool. Hands come back up to the shoulder blocks. You come back up to standing. We're gonna repeat an exercise that we've already done, but now we've got tension in the rope.

So flex that back foot, lean into the back leg. You're gonna come down into your little seed, your little squat, your little low position, and then lengthen out to that Warrior three. So use the abdominals and kick it. It's okay if the strap is touching you, right? Some people even like the strap to the inside when they do these exercises, to the inside of the forearm versus the outside.

I think it just depends on the way your body is designed, the way it moves, two. One. And we're coming back down. I don't know why I said keep that leg up. I don't think that's possible. You gotta take the knee down.

Okay. Back into that exact same position. Mm-hm, mm-hm. Keep the hip stacked. Except this time, Elena, we're gonna bend our knee towards our elbow. Can you get your knee to touch your elbow? You're so close. There it is. And kick it back.

Yeah. Do strap on the outside of your forearm for this one. Yeah, in and kick. See if you can align the rope with your knee. Kick. You're kicking on an up angle, up and out. Four. (exhales) Three. (exhales) Two.

And one, hold it up, hold it up. And take it all all the way down. Whoo. Nicely done. Go ahead and hook up that strap. Let's go right into the other side.

We don't need to do anything in between, no fancy stuff. Back into the straddle. You've got your right foot in the strap. You can sit down to get in. Yeah. And we'll do the around the world.

I think it feels so good. I just walked around my reformer for absolutely no reason. (both chuckling) Around the world, around the reformer. So first we laterally tilt. Look up. Scoop, look.

Scoop, so notice we're getting those shoulders right over the hips. Kind of like what we were doing in that yogi squat. Okay. Hold the next one. Boom, good. Put your hands onto the shoulder blocks. Left foot goes on.

I would say even walk your left foot back just a little bit. Yeah. You want a nice wide base of support. Kick it back and find that Warrior three. Square off the hips, lean back, long spine, long neck. Swing it down.

And swing it up. (exhales) Good. Swing it down. Swing it up. You've got that hold at the top. It's not a long one, but it's there. Anytime you do a combination movement where you have an A and a B, you wanna punctuate both of those movements. Stop, stop, hold, and then down. Good.

Hold. One more time. And up. Nice, and take it down. Rest, set up your other side. So your left forearms's gonna be down for this one. Yeah. This is such a hard series in the glutes. You hanging in?

Okay. I'm in. Lots of hips, lots of glutes. Stay on your knees. Walk your knees back. Forearm goes down.

So here's our circles, we're only doing three, but they're really hard. So you go up. Forward, swing, big moves. Try to keep your hips right over your knee. And then we reverse. So up.

Back. Lots of obliques, one. Two. Three. Three's all you need! Back up to standing.

This was the one if you like the strap on the inside of your forearm, go for it. Okay, so you're in that Warrior three, flex the foot, lean back, long spine. And then you cross the ankle behind, get real low, and then into the straight line. Good. Keep going. Yes! I love it when flows repeat, but then there's something new, a new layer when you do do it again.

Yes. Deep squat. And just hold the next one, just to here for a second. Push through your heel. She's doing such a good job keeping her neck long. Notice if you're looking up right now, kind of lengthen, don't kink the hose.

Good, give me four more. In heel. She was praying I said two more. (Elena laughs) I read her mind. Okay. Now two more in. And drive that heel down when you reach out good.

And good, bring your knees down. And then place your forearm back down here we are again. And we're going into that knee to elbow position, pause. Cool. Try to open up the hips, open up the shoulders. See if you can get that strap right in line with your kneecap, and then kick out.

Really push for that heel. Bend in, kick out. Bend in. Good, nice. When the knee comes into the elbow, think of doing, you know your three-legged dog series, where you're three-legged dog and you go knee to same. It's like a little side cinch.

There's definitely some oblique activation on happening when she bends that elbow in, three, we're almost there. Two, good. One more! Kick it, nice. And take a break, rest and recover. Go ahead and hook up your strap. So good, guess what's next? Floor sequence! Last time. Whoo!

This class is just breezing by. It sure is. Since I'm doing about 10% of it. Take your leg up. Do you wanna start on the other side? Let's do it.

Okay, mixing it up. So now we're starting on our opposite leg, turn, center. Opposite hand. Wow. It feels so different starting on this side. It's funny how you get so used to something, right?

Habits. They can be good, they can be bad. Rise. Rotate. I have to remind myself when I come up to really pull up through that thigh. We're doing eight on each side. Twist.

Tap, one more. Nice. Kick it. Cool, take a second. We're gonna do the other side. Remembering that you have four points of pressure on your standing foot.

Your arch lifts up. Your arch creates this up energy all the way up through your deepest abdominal, so try not to flatten the foot on your standing leg. Twist, untwist, hand taps down. Cool. You don't have to touch the floor. If going down to the floor is what's taking you off balance, just reach down to your machine for a second.

Do anything that feels right. Remember you're gonna keep coming back to this class over and over, and you will see significant improvements in your strength, in your balance, in your flexibility, especially in your hips and spine. Good, three to go. And straight leg back. Nice. Two to go.

And back. And you get to pick your pace, too. So you can go fast or slow. Eight's your goal. Rise up. Take a moment, take a breath. Whoo-hoo! Big squat.

Get low. Try to lift the chest, lift the heart, and we rise up first. Boom, back down, hop it, hop it, lift. (exhales) Hop it, hop it, lift. Good, keep going. Awesome. Good, I like to do that hop back quick, too.

I like kind of imagine the floor is lava, but I have a five-year-old. But there's this show called "The Floor is Lava." It's pretty self-explanatory. So imagine the floor is lava behind your toes, like hot potato, and you gotta go back real fast. Come back to your squat position. So tap and return. Did you wanna add any of those jumps?

You got two more, now would be your time to shine! One more. (chuckles) Awesome. Yes, bravo. Abdominals. It's the last time you're gonna do it. So push yourself, hands behind the head. Take your legs to table, elbows nice and wide. Exhale as you lift and twist. Keep going.

One of the reasons why I love this cross diagonal challenge is it's functional. It's providing functional stability when you're standing, right? The way the body works when you're standing to distribute load is sort of these diagonal lines, right? So as Elena's coming up and across, she's strengthening from this shoulder to this hip. When she goes to the other side, opposite shoulder to hip, making a cross.

Good, if you haven't added those arm reaches yet, please do. I'm in a talking, (laughs) a long talking sequence, a montage. If you have that cross diagonal in the front of your body, super strong, and you have that cross diagonal in the back of your body, hip to shoulder, super strong. Then you are super stable, super strong, super stable. Okay. Hold whichever leg is straight is perfect. Kick it for five.

Nice. Kick it for four. Good. Three, keep that hip down though. Yeah, two, and one switch. And kick it. Higher, five. Oh yeah! I was gonna say reach to my hand, but you passed it. Yeah.

And kick it high five. Boom, one more time and kick it. Come on up. Nice. Shake it off, so good. Okay, so here's where things get wild and crazy. I'm gonna actually leave that foot bar down for now.

Let's add a green to what we have. Leave your foot bar down guys, add a green. (chains rattle) We are gonna grab our short boxes, and place them on in whatever position works for you. We're doing in front of the shoulder blocks. Please adjust your machine, so it's in the right position for your short box abdominal series.

We have enough springs on, there's not too much movement going on. Alrighty. Let's take both feet in. Even though we are gonna go into a single leg series, we start with both feet hooked, so we can really feel stable. Knees should be bent, spines should be long, arms forward. On an exhale, roll back, finding your C scoop.

Take one knee out. And then if you can interlace your fingers at the bottom of the foot and kind of pull that knee towards your forehead, or your chin. And then keep that shape and start to roll back a bit, establishing the position you're gonna hold in your spine. And once you have that position, you extend double leg stretch style, circle and scoop. Reach, scoop, reach, scoop, reach, scoop, keep going.

Five, nice. The chin stays tucked the whole time. Yeah, four. Exhale when you pull the knee in. Three, good. Two. And one, awesome. Help yourself sit tall, hook both foot.

Let's go into an extension prep. If you don't wanna do a back bend, don't do it. I'll give you something else to do. But let's talk about what we're doing first, before we talk about the alternative if you don't wanna do it. So sit real tall, center those hips.

On an exhale, roll from your pelvis, get that scoop. Your tailbone, your sacrum should be on the box, not off. You feel good about that? You roll back, drop your head, reach your arms either to the inside or the outside of the frame. ? Ah-Ah-ah ?

And then the way you get up is really important. First, you lift your arms, then you tuck your chin to your chest. See how my voice has changed, 'cause I'm really trying to tuck. Then you roll yourself up over the thighs, and rebuild the spine. Do that a couple more times if you want to.

If you don't wanna roll backwards, go to your half rollback position, and we're doing these big beautiful windmills. Strengthen the abdominals, getting mobility in the shoulders. Good, Elena, do one more rollback, if you can, or windmills, whatever feels right. Remember the sequence, arms, chin to chest, and then glide the ribs towards the hips. Take a breath, take a stretch. Rebuild.

We have that other side to do. So even though you know, you're doing just one side, keep both feet hooked for a sec. I just find it really helps to start off good. You know, like building that foundation. Scoop and roll, opposite leg. Interlace, good.

You could also hold behind the knee if that felt more comfortable, and then establish that really small position. It kind of reminds me of the wind relieving pose. But I still think that's a funny name. It is. Okay, so we roll back. And then reach, circle, scoop.

Reach, circle, scoop. Try not to change the shape of your spine even though your legs and arms are reaching away from your midline. That's the challenge! Five, big circle hug. Four, nice. Three, good.

Two, one more time. And one and sit up nice and tall and round forward over your thighs. We've got a real challenging exercise coming up, and it's easy for Elena, she's a yogi. This might be a challenging exercise for you. I'll give you something to do in case you don't wanna do it.

This is definitely one that you come back to, and you build on if you find that you're having some resistance or restriction. Just do what you can for today. Keep the feet hooked. Sit up real tall. We're not gonna go backwards yet. Roll into that C scoop, good, pause here.

Give me windmills, or sorry, arm reaches. We already did windmills, so arm reaches. So like a slow swim. This would be a nice exercise to do, instead of the wheel pose. Another exercise you could do, reach your arms forward, and do like a pendulum swing, open, center, open, center.

Good, so all options that you could do, if you don't wanna do this next inversion. Stop and center, roll back like we practiced earlier, reaching your arms to the inside or the outside. Here's where things get fun. Take your hands onto the white frame as close to under your shoulders as you can. Take your feet up onto the carriage until you feel your heels pressing against the box.

Take a big breath in, and on an exhale push yourself up into a wheel or high bridge. Good, drop the head and shine your chest this way towards me, so use your legs. Bend your elbows and push up three times. One, she's using her glutes just like she did for jackknife. Two, awesome, and three, the booty comes down.

You're gonna wanna extend your legs and feel for that foot strap. You got it. It's right there. Here's your sequence. Arms first to the ceiling, chin to the chest. Roll over your thighs. Take a moment.

Take a breath, stretch it out. Pilates breathing is so great post extension, right? 'Cause you get to stretch out those muscles that were just contracted. Let's go back into it and we'll do a little something, something with a single leg. Ooh, she's got it! Roll down.

Reach back. Take a second, take a breath. Before you come up let's talk about extension. It's an even amount of extension throughout each segment of the spine. So it's not all in the neck and it's not all in the low back. Get that thoracic spine to move. Okay?

Hands go onto the white frame, feet go onto the carriage. When you're ready, push yourself up. Thoracic spine needs to extend and push forward this way. Stabilize, take one leg to tabletop. Kick it up to the sky. Just bend that knee and kick it up three times for me.

One and two, good, and three. Foot goes down. Take a second, reset. Other leg comes up. Hold it there. Three kicks one, drop your head a bit. Good. Two, push your chest towards me.

Three, put it down. Take a seat. Awesome. Don't panic. The strap's right there. Extend your legs. Lift your arms to the sky. Tuck your chin to your chest, round over those thighs.

Forehead to the knee. Breathe it out. Bam! It's good! That's so good. You could do that on the floor if you wanted to. I actually think this is a bit easier than the floor, because the box already pushes you like halfway into the shape that you need to be. It's just scary 'cause you're not on the floor.

Come on off. Great job. Okay, so now we're going to use that platform extender. And we want one green spring only. So we're gonna take that blue off. (spring rattles) If you don't have a platform extender, your machine might be just fine.

You just want enough room so that you can go into like a flat foot position, standing on here. And I'm gonna bump this bar. (metal rattles) Locked and loaded, one green. (metal rattles) Here it is. I think this is a great investment. I love my platform extender.

(equipment clacks) Awesome. Okay, one green's pretty supportive. This is gonna be a great finish. We totally got this. Hands go onto the bar first, feet come onto the carriage second. We're gonna walk the heels back and find our, it's kind of like a long stretch except that our legs are apart, and heels against the shoulder blocks.

Alrighty, we're gonna rock back three times. stay scooped. One, go back as far as you can and you're on a green. So I bet you can go pretty far. Two, you could do this exercise with your knees down like this instead of up. Three, three pushups, Chaturanga style, narrow elbows, one.

Two, three, hold, step one foot forward. Why don't we do our left? Awesome, stay low. So I think one of the biggest issues that I see when this exercise is done is people come up high and they feel unstable or wobbly. But if you stay low, that spring is helping to hold you up.

So push into your back heel, reach your arms forward. We're gonna lift our chest, bend the elbows. And reach, five. Reach, four. Three.

Two. One, hands go down, leg goes back. Round two. So rock back three times, one. Stay pushed up in your chest, two. Take the knees down if you want, three.

Chaturanga style push up, down and up. One, two, three. Opposite foot forward, but stay low. Push that heel into that shoulder block. Take those arms to the goalpost position, reach through.

And you're gonna lift up, (exhales) dive into it, five. Open. Four, create resistance like you're moving through water, three. (exhales) Two. And one, hands goes down. Same exercise, step back. Press back three times.

It's better to be more in protraction than retraction in this exercise. Cool, keep your chest over the bar. Narrow elbows take you down three times. One. Don't go too low. Resist the shoulders coming below the elbows. Yeah.

And then step your left foot forward again. Stay low. Here's the setup for the next one, okay guys? Take your left hand to the inside of the bar and squeeze the knee into the elbow. Pivot your back foot, so your baby toe is pressed against the shoulder block. Flat foot. Good.

Then reach your top arm overhead and come into that right angle pose. If you wanted to reach down to the platform instead you could. Yeah. Okay, so squeeze that leg in towards you. Try not to move your carriage. Only move your spine. Ready? We're gonna windmill for five.

Left arm up, right arm up, one. Left arm up, right arm up, two. Using those obliques. Who needs side bends on the short box, when you got this one? Keep pushing through the outside of your back foot.

One more time. Awesome. Windmill those arms, pick up that back heel. Step back. You know it. Give three rocks back, one. Wrap your abdominals from your back to the front, two.

Use your glutes when in a plank. Three, Chaturanga style down and up. One, so shoulders not going below the elbow, two. Three, right foot steps forward, hold it. Pivot on your back foot. Awesome.

Step your right hand in. Squeeze the knee towards the forearm. Reach the top arm overhead and pause. The right angle is from this wrist through the shoulders, through the hip, through the heel. Now hold your body just as it is.

Windmilling, left arm down, right arm up. Good. And there it is, one. Getting that spine to move laterally. What a great time to focus on breath. Big inhales, complete exhales, filling up the lungs and then completely emptying them.

Making room for something new! One more time. Right arm overhead, left arm overhead. Good, both hands go on. Pivot that back heel up. Step it back. This is the last time you have to do it.

Keep your chest bone pressed up, rock back, rock forward. That's one. Your wrists should be long. Your fingers should be squeezing up to that foot bar. Last three pushups of today, down and up, one. Two, keep those shoulder blades wide, Elena.

Three, taking your knees down for a well deserved child's pose, feet together, knees are wide. Here's how I like to do it. So if you can drop your head under the bar, and then take your elbows onto the bar, take your palms to prayer. Take your hands to the nape of your neck. And then just let your chest release and feel heavy, in through the nose, out through the mouth, or any variation of breath you want.

Breathe into your back and into your sides. Ooh, that was such a good class. I told you it was gonna be hard. Did I tell you it was gonna be fun too though? Or was that a surprise?

We're gonna do a stretch here. So if you can push your feet against the shoulder blocks, you're gonna push down into a real low, low, low chest. And then take one hand across, and just give yourself a little push, pull, looking up. And then same thing other side, a little push pull, looking up. Nice, and then take both hands on, and press your legs back and get those hips a little low.

And we're gonna finish with a beautiful swan, wide collar bones. And sit it back. Whew! Yoga's hard. Whew! Yoga on a reformer is really hard. It's tough.

We did great. I just wanna remind you, keep coming back to this class. You've been practicing yoga for a long time. And yeah, so she makes some of the real hard stuff look real easy, but we know it's not easy. Awesome job guys. Thank you for joining me.

Thanks, Courtney. See you next time.

Comments

Hard. Fab class  & I love the yoga mix up I’m always typing “yoga” into the search box here. Also where do you guys get your pilates wear? It’s so good! 
What a fun class! Great flow and energy
amazing - as always ! 
Beautifully creative!  Thank you:)
Loved this fun and creative class! Good challenges for my balance
very fun and creative and quite challenging! Thanks
Great Class!
This is a tough one! Am all sweaty…
So good! Love the balance work!
Loved it!  Amazing to incorporate the balance poses from Yoga”): 
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