Class #5609

Beginner Reformer Flow

40 min - Class


Join Sarah Bertucelli in a deliberate paced Pilates class where you'll build off her previous class: Beginning on the Reformer. Throughout the class, you will be guided to move with zest and fluidity, challenging your body and mind. Sarah's expert instruction will keep you engaged as she layers and builds upon foundational Pilates exercises, gradually increasing the difficulty for a comprehensive and effective workout.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

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Thanks for joining me. Today's class is a beginner flow. So a little bit faster than the first class, which was beginning on the reformer, but also still quite, beginner level. So really anybody can give it a try. Make sure that you're listening to your and that you're choosing to do things that work for you, push when it makes sense, and step back when it doesn't. Let's begin. With your feet underneath your hips, your arms by your side, just kind of assess that you're in your ideal posture.

What does that mean? The head is back where it belongs. The heart is open. Weight is equal on your 2 feet. You feel your pelvis, and you're growing tall through the crown of the head. Let's inhale together.

Exhale, roll down, head, upper back, bend the knees when you need to. Plug your shoulders to your back body. Feel your palms facing one another. Feel that your legs are relaxed enough. In order to allow your spine to be relaxed enough, do support with your abdominals, take a breath, and roll yourself back up.

When you come stay to a standing position, lengthen your legs, open your chest, and grow a little taller. Take a breath. Roll down head, upper back, think about where your shoulders are, feel that articulation through your low back, bend your knees as needed, perhaps go a little deeper if it feels like a good idea. I'm okay with that. And roll yourself back up.

And just one more together, inhale, exhale, rolling down, feeling that articulation, knees can bend as needed, arms, relaxed, palms facing one another, and roll yourself out. Alright. Let's go to the reformer. I have got a set. Oh, I have 1 too many springs. I have got my spring set with 2 reds in a blue, which is a nice beginner level spring. Certainly, you could give yourself a little more if you wanted to. Or even a little less if needed. Hopefully, you checked your straps to make sure that they're equal length, and we're not using any prop today, but certainly if you know you're gonna need a ball for spacing or a towel or something like that, feel free to have props available for yourself.

So let's slide to the edge of the reformer and gently roll in. Once you're on the reformer, settle in. Think about your spacing. Feel where your neck is. Feel where your pelvis is related to the reformer. Notice where your shoulders are.

Chest is open. Palms are facing up. Let's put the heels on the bar in a place where it feels comfortable for you to do a pelvic curl. Inhale through your nose and exhale completely either through your nose or your mouth. And inhale again, Feel the head position, exhale sense your pelvis position. Let's move. Inhale. Use your exhale to curl your pelvis up finding the high bridge position that suits you.

So you may not go all the way up on the first one. That would be okay. Take a breath and lower down, articulating through your low back, and finally, your pelvis will come home in hell. Use an exhale to curl up. If it works for you, press those palms into the mat to help you create just a little more energy to lift.

Exhale to curl down. If you need to keep your palms facing up, that's fine too. And again, inhale. What are we doing here? Abs, backs of the legs. Feel the articulation.

Feel the energy opening across the front of the hips. And then articulate down one vertebra at a time. A lot of what we're doing here is warming up. Yeah. Exhale to curl up. And inhale at the top and curling down.

One more pelvic curl, please. So this time when you're in this lift position, will you stay here, please? Can you lift one leg up? Flex the foot? Put it down. Lift the other leg up, flex the foot, put it down. Try to keep your pelvis lifted and level.

Try to feel that you're using the gluten hamstring on the supporting leg and find breasts that suits you. One more time. And then 2 feet are down and lower your body down. 1 verte at a time. Beautiful.

Hold on to the pegs by your ears or the frame, if that's better for you. Allow your feet to be comfortable on the foot bar. And let's just relax the legs into a spine sway, hip sway, pull back to center, inhale to twist the legs go over the pelvis kinda follows almost, exhale to pull back inhale to twist. We're gonna just go a little bit deeper. Pull back and one more time like that, inhale to twist.

So if your body says you wanna keep your feet on the football, you're welcome to do that. If it feels like a good idea, we float the legs to tabletop, glue the legs together, feel the support from the abdominals. Let's all go right together, inhale to twist the lower half, Exhale to pull back to center. So ideally here, we're keeping the knees glued together. Exhale pull back to center. As you twist, you're going to feel the shoulder blade anchored.

As you pull back, the pelvis comes home to neutral. Twist, feel the opposite shoulder blade anchored, and come home to neutral. Let's do one more in each direction. Finding your breath, creating a nice flow, a nice Organized flow. Reach your hands to the ceiling.

Let's keep those legs to at tabletop as they are if it suits you in hell. Use an exhale to lift the head and chest nice high abdominal curl in, hell, lower down. Let's continue on. Exhale to lift, feel the grounding of the low back, the opening of the chest, and lower down. Feel the hint of a smile across your cheeks because remember we're having a good time working out together. Right? I hope so.

And we're gonna do one more here and stay. Take your palms to face up. Stay lifted. One hand comes over and reaches to try to touch the other. Come back, reach over, and try to touch the other.

So you may your goal is to be able to keep your arms straight and connect the fingers perfectly. Mine don't do that. I don't know how many people can, but keep working. Like, you're trying to reach toward your other fingertips. Bam. And see if you can get a little bit further up the hand each time. Bam. And here we go.

And just one more time. Alright. Gently hug the knees into your chest, putting your head down. Nice and warm. I'm starting to feel ready to work my legs. So let's put those heels on the bar, settle your pelvis, open your chest, palms facing up to begin, try to feel your shoulder blades grounded, your arms grounded, since that you're even on your reformer and you're ready for your footwork. Ankles begin flexed. As you press out, you try to keep your feet stable in space.

Inhale in, and exhale out. What are we thinking about? 1st, we're just breathing and moving, my friends. You wanna feel that the backs of the legs are in fact initiating and also controlling as you come in. Try to feel that your pelvis is staying stable. So you're gonna wanna really feel what it feels like at the top of the movement and also at the bottom of the movement.

Since your inner thighs are engaged, so if you need to use a prop to feel that feel free to put a ball in place. Otherwise, just see if you can engage their last one here and come all the way in. Let's go ahead and put your toes on the bar. So when we say toes, I mean, the metatarsals are engaged or are connected and then settle into the position and we press out. First, we're breathing and moving. Inhaling in, and exhaling fully lengthening those legs, finding a nice flow, finding control, and then layering concepts.

Think about the back of the leg. Think about the back of the leg when you come in. Is your pelvis still grounded? Are your neck and shoulders relaxed? Can you feel the inner quadriceps working to help lengthen the knee at the top?

Imagine you have a ball between your legs if you're using those inner thighs. So all these cues that I'm giving you are things that you could be thinking about with repetition when you have the space in your brain and your body to do so. We'll do one more here pressing out. And pressing in small v position. So we slide the heels together, feel your body, and we're gonna exhale and press out. Again, feel the backs of the legs.

At the top, squeeze those inner thighs. Feel the inner quadriceps pulling up the kneecap. Feel your pelvis position. Feel that your head is heavy. So avoid looking at your feet don't think I said that earlier.

So try to look straight up because where your eyes go, your head will follow. And you'll find if you keep your eyes looking up, Your neck will feel a little less stress over time, hopefully. One more time here. And then we move to our open v position So we come all the way into the stopper, put the heels on the bar, find the place where you feel you can press out with comfort. Right? It should be comfortable to begin. So drop the tail, feel some rotation from your hips and out. We go. Check-in with your 2 feet and make sure that they're equally weighted, equally working.

Finding a rhythm and a flow that suits you. Certainly, if you need to go a little slower, okay. If you wanna go a little faster, that's fine too. Just make sure you're in control of your spring. As we press out, we're pulling up through the kneecaps, binding those inner thighs. As you come in, you wanna feel the backs of the legs controlling the spring for you rather than letting the spring control you.

Come all the way into the stopper, move your feet all the way together so you feel centered and then separate. Use the legs to press out. We go right into our calf raises down and press up. Finding the flow of this movement also be mindful of your 3 body weight Where is your head? Where's your rib cage? Where's your pelvis? What are your shoulders doing?

At the top here, can you feel each time, that upper inner thigh engagement and that sensation of tethering a little bit, your ankle bones to make sure that your feet are not rolling out. You're not losing your ankle alignment. Not everybody's gonna need to think about that, but a lot of people do. Let's hold up here. We're gonna do prances.

So one knee bends, the other heel goes under the bar, press up with both legs, and then change. Nice and slow methodical prances, press and change, and press and change. Many people will shift their weight here. So try to think about using both feet. For both actions. So I am using both the leg that I'm bending and the one that is straight to do each part here. So think about that a little.

Simply think about keeping the weight equal on both feet. And then let's hold the stress on one side, move your foot so you feel you can just relax a little bit. So one of the things I like to do here in addition to bending and straightening the knee is spinning the foot a little bit inward or spinning the foot a little bit outward just to change where I feel the stretch. So feel free to play with that. Then change sides, please. So once you feel like you have just settled into the stretch for a little while, See if you can explore where you're gonna feel a little more sensation that feels like a good idea.

I oftentimes like to play with where my foot is on the footbar too. That feels like a nice way to get a little bit more stretch. Breathing in. And breathing out. We're going to press up again, bend the knees, come all the way in, and let's hug those knees into your test.

Single legs, heels are on the bar. Keep the spring the same. If you need to get up and change, you will. Let's do right leg first. Other legged tabletop out we go. 1. 2.

Thank you for your pelvis nice and stable. 3. Think of your inner thigh, 4. Try to pull up through the kneecap, 5. Back of the leg is working on the up and the down, 6. Find your breath. One more time?

I very rarely like to count. I will say that, but when we're doing single legs, I like to be even. So I'm gonna count for you and with you today to make sure I don't skip a beat there. Left foot is on the bar. Chest is open.

Pelvis is down. We're gonna press out 1. Try to feel that your pelvis remains stable. 2, Back of the leg, 3, inner thigh, quadriceps, controlling on the way in, all kinds of things to think about. Right? I think we're on 7 if I counted properly. And 8.

And just two more here. 9. Finding the control, there's 10. Coming all the way in, we'll roll ourselves to one side, and we'll change the springs for the next block. So ideally, it's nice to be able to do the arms and abdominal piece and then move right into hip work. So I'm going to challenge us to use a red and a blue for this next sequence, which is going to be arms and abs.

If you feel like that too much, simply sit up and change and use only one spring like we did in the previous class, but it's always nice to push and see where we can go. So we're gonna slide back in. The spring is a bit heavier, a bit zesty. Retrieve your straps by your on the pegs by your ears. Use your feet to support.

Press out. Arms are straight. Shoulders are plugged. Don't be up against the shoulder rest. You need a little bit of space there. Yeah. We're gonna engage the abs, float the legs to tabletop.

We exhale to take the arms down, opening the chest. From one spring to one and a half, it really makes a very big difference. So check-in with your shoulders and make sure that you're halfway through opening the chest to turn the corner rather than just muscling down with the arms, breathing and moving. 2 more here. Breathing and moving.

So, again, this looks like arm work, but it's really also abdominal work. Here, we're gonna add the abdominal curl. Take a breath. We lift the head and chest up nice and high. Oops. I got stuck there.

And lower down. It happens. We're gonna lift the head and chest up nice and high reach through those arms and lower down. Be aware that bull farms are, in fact, working equally, lift to lift, lift, and lower down. And let's hold this time. We're gonna lift and hold the lift inhaling through your nose and exhaling to deepen the curl reaching with your arms. Go again.

One more. Gently lower down, and we'll put our feet in straps. So once again, you'll press out with those two legs. You'll lift up one foot and put that foot in the strap. Make sure you're secure with the strap.

Feel it, then put the other foot in. Press your legs out to straight first. Feel Pelvis is heavy, rib cage is heavy head, chest open, shoulder blades. Perhaps your palms are up. In how the legs in for your frog exhale to press out.

So ideally, we wanna be able to slide those feet along a straight line. I think a lot of people when we begin with frogs go up a little more than out. So see if you can really feel what it feels like when the ropes go just inside of your knees and then you slide straight out. Can you all put a little more attention today on flexing the ankles the whole way through. That means pulling the toes back into dorcey flexion. Reaching through the heels.

Last one here. Point the feet. We're gonna come up to our high point with the pelvis down. 2 straight legs circles. We press down through center and then around to the top point.

Check-in for your pelvis. Exhale to press down around to the top point. And then again, check-in is your tail down. So in an ideal world, we wanna be able to do this with nice straight knees. So see if you can check-in with straight knees each time.

If that doesn't feel straighten the knee completely. Let's reverse the circles from the top. We open the legs, and we come down together, and we lift back up. And, again, down and together. So here, think about your pelvis tail down as you come up.

And then as you come down, you've gotta really stay engaged in the abs so you don't have that wobbly spot. So I'm correcting myself right now because each time I come up, I wanna bend my knees, and I'd like you to really think about keeping your knees straight as you come up, look at them if you need to. And then circle around. And we'll do 2 more like that. Nice straight legs.

And one more like that, please. Up. And then we'll come around and we'll work on the openings. So here, I would like you to consciously open the legs slightly bend the knee so you can spin a little bit in the hip socket, catch those inner thighs, and pull those heels together. Repeat. We're gonna open, slightly bend the knees just a bit, spin out a little more and glide those heels together.

And we'll do 2 more like that, please. Just a couple of openings, handful of openings. I think I'd like to do one more. Let's do one more, please. Nice. I can get a little wider, nice stretch.

So go ahead and bend your knees big. Let the bottoms of your feet come together. You can put your hands on your thighs and just create a little stretch through your hips. I think for most people, this is a pretty comfortable place to hang out for a little bit and to feel a little release in your hips, inner thighs. For me, after I've worked my inner thighs, I find it difficult to stretch straight legs.

So I like to come to the bent knee position first, and then I can stretch one leg out to the side. Now I'm getting a nice stretch in that straight leg. Pull that leg back in, and I like to hold the ropes with my hands. You can stretch the other leg now out to the side. And hopefully that feels accessible and comfortable kind right now.

And then we'll bend in We'll take the feet out of the straps nice and carefully. So find the foot bar. Come all the way in, see if you can find the pegs by your ears, to roll yourself up to a sitting position, and then let's move into our hip and hamstring stretch. So we'll take one spring off So, we were on a red and a blue, and I removed the blue. So now we're on a red.

We'll come up, take the foot near the foot of the reformer, the other foot, up against the shoulder rest and just fall into your lunge or settle in as maybe a better way to put it. I feel that you have enough weight on your front leg. See if you can go just a little bit deeper into the stretch and energetically pulling your pelvis a little bit forward. Opening your heart, looking above the horizon, breathing in, and breathing out. And with each breath, just kind of check-in and feel, okay, can I sink a little bit deeper, maybe? Can I energetically also lift a little bit more and check-in and make sure that you do not actually feel stress on your low back? That's an indication that maybe you're going too far or you're not yet stabilizing well enough.

Let's press the front leg to straight, flex the foot back, tip the tailbone back, align your gaze with your your head with your gaze, with your spine is a good way to say that perhaps. Feel that you're stretching that front leg. You can bend and straighten the knee a little bit, breathing in, and breathing out. And let's go ahead and move to the second side. So we'll come all the way in, walk ourselves around, and set up on the side too.

So go ahead and put your foot up near the foot of the reformer. Other foot up against the shoulder rest, bend the front leg, find a nice spot for that back knee, see if you can go just a little deeper into the stretch. Breathing in. And breathing out, feel as though you have enough weight on your front leg, energetically bringing the pelvis forward, lifting the heart. Shoulders are settled.

So it's nice after I've been on my back to then get to look around at the view, try to spy some dolphin, or birds, dogs, all that stuff. Never gets old. Press your front leg to straight. Tip your tailbone back. Flexing your ankle, align your head with the rest of your back and feel, see if you can go a little deeper into the stretch, breathing in.

And breathing out. One more breath. We're gonna come out of that nice and gently, and then we'll move into our elephant and up stretch. So For me, a red spring is a nice, hard spring because it doesn't give you very much stability, and that's what we're currently on. I think for most people, The green spring when available is going to feel a little bit kinder.

So I would recommend a green spring. If you don't have the green, maybe you'll go with a red and a yellow. And if you don't feel comfortable here, add a little bit more spring and don't endeavor to move the carriage. Remember that. Hands are on bar. Step up.

We're going to 1st slide back so that we're in the elephant, like we did in the, 1st class, feet are flat, toes are lifted, You're going to straighten out, flatten out your back, try to feel that. Supporting with your upper back, you're gonna see if you can make a straight diagonal line with your body. Make sure that there's weight in the heels. Everything stays stable in your upper back, upper body, in how the carriage goes back, exhale the carriage comes in. So the only thing that's actually moving here are your legs at your hip joints.

Think about your inner thighs a little bit, kind of squeezing the upper inner thigh together. That's gonna help you use your abs a little more. Think about tailbone backing up, and let's just do one more like that. Now To make this a little more challenging, we lift the heels, and we're now going to move into the up stretch one. So as you lift your heels up, you're gonna wedge them into the shoulder rest.

Many of us will need to come forward just a little bit with the head and the shoulders so that you feel like you've got support there, straighten the legs if you're able to, tip the tailbone back and up, and then we're gonna try to find control as we go back. And as we pull in, So be mindful that your upper body is staying quite still. So my chest and shoulders are not dumping down and up as the carriage moves. Once again, the only thing that's moving is my legs. It's actually controlled by my hip flexors, but supported or stabilized by my core.

Both my abdominals and my upper back. One more here. Pull the carriage all the way in lower your feet carefully flat, walk forward very gently, and then step down. Take your time getting down because after you've been upside down for a little while, Sometimes one can get a little bit light headed, so be mindful. 1 red spring for our arm work That would be my recommendation.

You certainly could go a little lighter if you know that your arms don't require as much spring to be challenged, but Always looking to challenge ourselves. So we're gonna have a seat here with your pelvis at the very back edge of the mat. Reach forward and retrieve your straps, holding the straps in your hands. Sit up nice and tall. Again, if sitting up straight is difficult, sit on a prop, a towel, a block, anything, but or bend your knees. But if you can sit up straight, that'd be great.

Straight strong arms, we're gonna pull the arms behind us for our chest expansion, 2 straight arms, sternum is lifted, gaze is above the horizon. Inhale forward and exhale to pull back and hold. So think of this arm, this chest expansion position as the same position we've been working on, when we're lying flat on our back. Your head is back where it belongs. Your shoulders stay on your back body.

And specifically when your hands get behind you, you wanna keep controlling this more with your back body than in your mind with your hands. Last 2? So I'm exhaling to pull the arms behind me, if that makes sense. Good. And then let's add the biceps to this. So you're gonna sit nice and tall.

You've got 2 straight arms. You're gonna plug the shoulders. You bend your elbows to about 90 degrees. And we straighten. So the thing I see the most here is leaning back.

So see if you can feel yourself staying straight up and down as you bend and straighten your elbows. And, actually, I kinda like this idea of looking right and left with my head. So I did that just to look in the camera, but I'm now changing my gaze. Each time I bend my elbows, I'm just looking in the other direction. I kinda like it. So maybe give it a go and try rotating at your your eyes and your head and just adding a little bit of movement there. One more time here. Biceps. And let's do our rhomboids here.

So you're gonna put the straps up on your elbows. You're gonna start with your palms facing one another. Facing your face, actually. Again, shoulders come to the back body, sit up straight. As we open, you wanna feel that the palms are still facing your face. You're gonna spread your collar bones and your shoulder blades slightly look up and aim your elbows or your fingers, thumbs slightly back. Okay. I'm gonna say that again.

It was a lot. Open the arms so you're in a goalpost. Spread your collar bones and your shoulder blades. You're gonna take your thumbs back a little bit and slightly look up as the shoulders go down. Let's do that again, please.

And we're gonna pull spread. Go a little bit. Beautiful. Let's do 2 more. That feels really, really nice. What I feel like when I add that little bit of external rotation is I'm able to actually really get my lower mid trapezius to kick in and pull my shoulders down last one.

And if that didn't make sense, you're just getting your back body to work a little bit better. I hope Let's put the straps away. And here, we will, lower the bar down because we're going to move into some sideline work. Now if you happen to have a mat available, you may find this is more comfortable lying on the mat, but we're just going to stay on the reformer here today. So I added one spring just for stability, and then I'm just gonna slide into the reformer and be on my side. Whoops.

And settle in. So I wanna feel that my shoulders are stacked and my hips are stacked. I'm actually gonna take my bottom knee in front of me. So it's about a ninety degree hip, about a ninety degree, knee bend, and I'm gonna float that top leg up. So with hips stacked, shoulders stacked, little space underneath the rib cage, we're gonna put hand on the tush here. We're gonna float forward, flex the foot, see if you can keep the knee straight.

We're gonna reach back point to the foot. We're gonna float forward, flex, reach back point. Just find a breath that suits you. I'm not doing the pulsing breath here particularly because I just wanna feel the movement Although you're welcome to add that if that's something you're familiar with, but just feel this will be our last one here. Go forward in space here now.

Turn the knee into slightly down, relax your foot. We're gonna go down until maybe you feel your leg, and we're gonna lift up. And down and lift up. And let's do that just a little bit faster, a little bit faster, like a little pulsing, little dance, a little jumping with your leg. I'm starting to feel the burn here in my hips. Hopefully, you can start to feel that outer hip as I just kind of pop up and down with my foot.

And we'll just do a couple more there and rest that. So bring that knee into your chest. Give yourself just a little release there in your hip. And then we're going to make this funky arrangement where you straighten your bottom leg, flex your ankle, and then the top foot could rest on the foot bar. And it could rest if you're more flexible all the way up on the white part. So I'm gonna recommend maybe on the foot bar. But it's a little bit far away, and it's gonna limit our range a little bit, but that's it's okay.

So hips are are stacked. Rib cage is stacked. Shoulders are stacked. Put your hand either on the shoulder rest or on the the mat in front of you, and you're just gonna take that bottom leg and you're gonna lift it up and try to find the inner thigh of the other leg and squeeze. Now I found myself wanting to pitch back with my pelvis and flex my hip.

So really try to feel like you're lifting up and sending the leg behind you as you squeeze the inner thigh. Think about that. I'm lifting. I'm reaching my heel back a little bit as I squeeze the other inner thigh rather than rolling back. Good try a couple more. I'm reaching my foot back. Squeeze.

Good. And again, foot back. Squeeze. And just one more time, please. Hold that hold that shape. Now can you use your hand in front of you and figure out how to lift the other leg Stack it on top of the leg that was already straight. So we have 2 straight legs.

We're in a straight body, reach through the heels, tap the foot bar, lift up. 5, and 4, and 3, and 2, And one more time, hold. Can you use those obliques a little more to lift a little higher? And then can you try to find? Some balance. Whatever that means to you. So that means I'm lifting my hand up. I might reach it up to the ceiling.

One more breath. Rest. Thank you. Let's do the other side. So a little hard to just roll over on the reformer, so we're gonna climb up, walk around to the other side. Okay. So let's lie down on our sides and set up here. So You can, rest your head in your arm.

You're gonna take the bottom knee forward about 90 degrees at the hip and at the knee, and the top leg is just reaching out to straight. Let's think about shoulders, hips, comfortable here, hopefully. Allow that leg to float up at about hip height. And we're just gonna swing it forward, flex the foot, and swing it back, and swing it forward. I think I had my hand here, and swing it back.

And swing it flex and swing it back. And we're just doing 2 more here. Hopefully, you're beginning to feel a little bit of heat in that outer hip. And now take the leg forward for me and hold. Relax your foot. Turn your knee down, and we're gonna tap it down and up. So it's a little bouncing action, trying to keep the pelvis stable, trying to keep the abdominals engaged, and hopefully beginning to feel some heat growing in this outer hip.

So as you move nice and quickly and kind of this bouncing and, feeling, you might start to feel that much more sensation. We'll do just a couple more here. And then go ahead and rest. Hug the knee into your chest. Feel a little release there.

I can feel a little burn. That's nice. And now we're gonna make the arrangement for the adductor. So take that bottom leg long, and the top foot can rest on the foot bar. And if you're super flexible and you wanna come up to the, the the white part, that's fine too. On this side, I can do it. On the other side, it's tricky. So I'm gonna be symmetrical today. And send the bottom leg, the one that's straight behind you a little, flex the foot.

The other hand is supporting wherever it makes the most sense to you. We're gonna lift the leg up and lower it down. So lift up and reach behind you and lower down and lift and reach and lower down. And just one more for me, please. Lift and reach.

Keep the lift. See if you can lift that top leg, rest it on top of the bottom leg. Flect both of your ankles, find the energy. So you're using your hand in front of you for a balance if needed, and we're gonna lift those legs up. And lower them a little and lift and lower. Find some breath. That would be an exhale maybe.

And another exhale and an inhale down. This time, we're gonna lift and hold. Try to lift just a little higher elect those feet, reach energy through the legs, and one more moment of breath, and we'll rest there. Go ahead and climb up from your reformer, and we'll use our box for our final exercise. So let's bring the foot bar up And we're going to do back extension using the box.

One spring is ideal. I'm on a red You could go a little heavier or a little lighter depending on what works for you. And then we wanna take the box and put it on long wives. I like to make sure that it's even up against the shoulder rest so that I'm more likely to be even. We'll lie onto the on our bellies.

With the chest off just a bit. So my my nose is basically just above the foot bar. That's gonna depend on the length of your neck and body and whatnot, though. So settle into your body or to your positioning here. I'm going to energize my legs a bit.

I'm gonna put my hands on the foot bar. So just like we did in the previous class, it's not about pushing out or using the spring yet. I'd like you to think about opening the heart, shoulders are gonna pull down. So I'm using just a little connection to the foot bar to pull my shoulders down to find a little bit of thoracic extension. And go again.

So feel that little bit of thoracic extension. So I'm not lifting with my arms. I'm just using the the arm connection or the hand connection to pull my scapula down. Much like I did in the sitting arm work. So one more time, we're gonna find that shape, hold it, and now you'll press out using both arms equally and come in and press out and come in.

And press out and come in one more time, please. So I'm feeling like for the final exercise, I'm gonna wanna scoot forward just a little bit more. So I would like my chest to be off just a slight bit more. For full back extension. So same beginning.

We're gonna inhale to that same upper back extension and then press the arms to straight, and now the elbows stay straight. And we allow the weight of the spring and the straight elbow to assist Let your legs be a little more relaxed and open if needed. And the the spring is gonna assist me to lift into whatever back extension suits me. So it feels just like the most lovely back extension and lower down. Go with what feels good to you.

You'll find that if you're not comfortable with back extension, This might be your new favorite one because you're assisted. So the spring sort of plugs my shoulders for me, and my elbows stay straight, and I just sort of my body gradually lift, go nice and slow, and decide, okay. That's about as far as I wanna go. So you might come into the stopper, you might not. It doesn't matter. It's about feeling and letting it be pleasurable for you. So, again, have your gaze change as your body lifts Your gaze continuously changes in alignment with your head, and maybe you start to look above the horizon, maybe even slightly at the ceiling and down.

And we're just gonna do one more there. The breath is up to you. Really just focus on making sure that you're breathing and that you feel like this is a really good idea. Truly probably my favorite back extension because it's so yummy. So my arms are straight.

My body is flat. I'm gonna bend my elbows and come all the way in, then I'm gonna slip off of the reformer. And we'll finish with a couple of roll downs, please. So with your feet underneath your hips, Open your chest. Sometimes I like to take my hands to the backs of my thighs and just kinda help open a little bit my chest there and then allow my arms to just kind of relax in that position. It helps me stay open.

Take a breath. Roll down. Notice your palms are facing each other. Your head is relaxed. Your knees are bent if needed.

Take a breath and roll up. So here, see if you can find that that position that I showed you where you just take your hands to the backs of your thighs and use that to open a little of your chest, look up slightly. And then see if you can kinda keep those arms a little closer than you might normally. Little back extension and roll down. That feels really nice. So many of us are doing so many things with our heads forward and our shoulders forward.

More opportunity to do the reverse. Kindly is nice. Rolling up again. So do do your hands how it works for you. Perhaps you'll take that shape.

Standing tall, breathing in, and breathing out. Thank you. So very much for playing, and I sure hope to see you again soon.


1 person likes this.
It's been too l o n g since I did my workouts and this first time back was just lovely.  Thank you Sarah for your constant excellent cues!
This is a nice side lying series 
Hi Bev V,  What treat to know that this class helped you get back to your workouts!!  Thank you and take care:)
Wonderful Elizabeth D,  I really enjoy the stability challenge of side lying work.  thank you!! 
Whitley N
1 person likes this.
I've recently started my pilates practice again and have been watching your beginner mat series on repeat to mindfully get back into it. I have really enjoyed your reformer beginner classes, you are clear yet don't talk too much to keep me moving. I would really love if you could do a beginner reformer and mat with the advanced movements if that makes sense. 
Hi Whitley N,  Absolutely beautiful.  I am delighted to know that this series is useful to you!!  Beginner mat and reformer with advanced movements?   My take would be essentially progressing to mindful intermediate  work and then mindful advanced work.  Perhaps a similar class format with a few powerful and more advanced moves.  Perhaps an add on to the series would be beginning with intermediate mat, Beginning with advanced mat and the same for Reformer.  I LOVE the idea...  :)Sarah 

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