Class #627

Breath-Focused Reformer

45 min - Class


Amy emphasizes the very important principle of breath in today's class. No rushing allowed.....let your breath really guide and motivate your movement. "Are we really moving with our breath?" She encourages you to take time to re-connect to your diaphragm and explore the potential of this part of your body and let your muscles do what they know how to do. This is a full-body workout following more of a traditional style with exercises like Footwork, Pelvic Press with some variations, the Rowing Series', Pulling Straps, Teaser, Arabesque (prep), Long Back Stretch, Tendon Stretches, Semi-Circle, Thigh Stretch, Kneeling Arms, Cleopatra, Control Front, and Side Splits. Go inside, explore, play and enjoy this rather introspective class. See how you can reconnect to yourself!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video


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Okay, we're going to do a reformer workout today. And I wanted to spend just a real quick minute on a breathing, just getting a little centered and I'm going to try to work with the principal and the thought of we that we follow our breath through this workout rather than our breath follows us. And that might keep the pace nice and even in tempered, uh, and energetic. So if we just start with our hands right near our diaphragm and on the inhalation, allowing it to elongate down toward the pelvis, just take a good breath in. It's very internal. Of course, NIAC exhale is feeling that strength come from the bottom up toward these upper abdominal muscles. And I'm going to go again, feeling the strength come from the lower part of my pelvis up to my upper abdominals. I'm gonna do that again and [inaudible]. So that feeling for me throughout the exercises that during my inhale breath or your inhale phase, that elongation within our trunk and during the XL phase, that strength comes up. It doesn't shorten us and compact us, but we stay along and feel the strength come right into the center and that'll carry through. Let's go one more time.

So I'm gonna use that and starting on my footwork, I've got three red springs, I've got my high bar and head rest is up. I'm going to start with my prehensile position and stretch [inaudible] feeling that nice long quality again, x Salian [inaudible] so I'm following the breath. [inaudible] using an image or a thought that I come back to the bumper because of that. Exhale. [inaudible] do my heels. Same thing.

[inaudible] long diaphragm and it re stretches back up. [inaudible] stretch and contracts up. [inaudible] getting that quality, that connection to length with strength. Every time I move the carriage. [inaudible] last one.

[inaudible] first position. [inaudible] and of course I'm thinking of hamstrings, my adductors, my laughs and shoulder extensors engaged here. But I want to use this class in this session for myself and maybe to encourage you to think about the breathing more than usual, where it's coming from, the diaphragmatic muscle for diaphragm [inaudible] couple more. Stretch and return and stretch and return. I'm gonna come back into parallel angles lifted [inaudible] Relevate and return. So my pattern of he'll lower lift down, heals up.

[inaudible] every inhale and exhale. Staying in the moment, staying with the present motion and breath. [inaudible] I'm trying to increase my range of motion, maybe. So if I take a longer inhale [inaudible] deep brick sale deep in the work of my body, because again, I'm following my breathing rather than the other way around. I'm going one more [inaudible] I'm gonna stay lifted for a walking in place. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] thinking energy all the way through the tip of my head, through my arms, through my feet, out my whole body. And four, three, two and one coming to Relevate. So for some single leg, I'm going to take off one red keeping two on, let it go first onto my right heel and extend my left leg long over the bar.

Doing a little coordination with the side. Inhale. [inaudible] straight leg coming up. [inaudible] I'm gonna Change my foot. Work a little bit on this leg. I'm going to flex so they get a little more stretch connection to my hamstrings. [inaudible] [inaudible] and one more round trip and in hand stretch.

Flex the heel up and lower changing at the foot bar, extending the right leg in progress. [inaudible] so that breathing helping me to remove the leg toward the torso, away from the torso like in, so my leg coming in in opposition to my diaphragm searching down and up with the leg and down. Two more round trips. [inaudible] and I'm done with that part. I'm going to go into my arches. I want to take my head rest down for some pelvic press and bridging. I've got myself all the ways up together. The back of the arch near the heel.

Ah, it's my user diaphragm coming up where it belongs right there by the split of the ribs and they go up and try to feel the lengthening through my back. Little slight extra rotation for me in my pelvis. Mineral come all the way down to full breath and two more times a full breath up, massaging the spine, trying to get some motion. Now in the spine mobilization coming down. One more time.

[inaudible] separating the feet slightly on the heels, taking the right leg to a tabletop and going to go back up into a bridge with just this left side. Exhale, moving the carriage three times [inaudible] at XCL deepening the contraction. Now I'm going to take the pelvis down all the way to the mat. Inhale, coming up. Exhale, using the strength. Now on that single leg two more times, I'm lowering the whole pelvis and spine in a unit and pressing up in a unit. No articulation on this one. Last time down and all the way up.

Actually two and a half and down and let's change sides. The right heel in line with the sitz bone, left leg coming up and I would press the pelvis, pressing the carriage three times out in and press in, trying to feel that deeper rotation of the pelvis there with that abdominal work. Now the whole pelvis coming down in a unit. Inhale, lengthen the ABS x, reaching my pelvis toward the foot bar and up toward the diagonal where my leg is pointing. My only right side. Inhale down and exhaling and the last one to come down where my foot will stay and I'll come back to the foot bar and the drop one of my springs leaving me just with one red. I'm also gonna take the foot bar down or the 100 now I'm just on one red at this point and go right up into the traditional five and five. Ah, breathing in and out. [inaudible] trying to feel and connect to ah, long diaphragm muscle. [inaudible] strong diaphragm muscle.

[inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] lowered the legs slightly for more challenge. Yeah. Last breath. Three four, five. I'm gonna bring the knees in, my elbows in, and just rest my neck for one moment. I'm going to come in for four. Coordination inhaled quick, open, close.

Choosing to leave the head up. [inaudible] I've been to those upper abs. They are all not exhale. Ah, last one. [inaudible] do we know reaching in on the exhale, I'll be coming up to chest lift the legs, extend out to a small V. Hands go in between them, pressing the air out, reaching forward level pelvis and deeply contracting up into those upper abdominals. And as we come down, bring your arms up to the ceiling. We'll do a little outward. Arms Circle.

[inaudible] [inaudible] reach arms come up. Outward arms circle. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] two more times. [inaudible] ah, empty all the air, squeezing out the air at [inaudible]. One more. Ah, [inaudible] [inaudible] and some rowing facing back. So I'm still my red hand linked away in a hold my straps right near the chest.

My thumbs are up when a long get into the sitting tall position of again trying to stretch the diaphragm muscle down, not puffing out. Elongating down the XCL, pulling that muscle up into my upper abdominals. Ah, holding the carrots, still taking a tour. So over the legs now activating a little more use of the arms to come back. I'm only going to keep my arms in a midrange rotation. They're rolling back up. The exhale.

Deepening that contraction. Low belly up to upper belly. Open the [inaudible]. Ah, searching for a little more contraction up into the upper abdominals. Ah, go on for two more. Oh, [inaudible]. Wow.

So trying to stay with the idea again of moving with my breath. [inaudible] following the breathing. [inaudible] ah, staying right here in this moment. The flat back for me. Today I'm going to lower my arms just a little bit. Watching out for some neck tension. I'm going to lean back in that hand.

But again, I'm leaning with a long dye for medic. Masalia. Inhale. Exhale. Just come back up to vertical. Two or three of those. Inhale. It's like it's stretching toward my pelvis internally. It's helping me set up is my diaphragm is, it's coming back up to my upper abs. I'm going to take that into a row.

Now I'm going to go up a little bit more with those arms lower with the torso. I'm gonna come back up to that again. And here I go into the hinge, excellent contract and draw into the core lift bigger arm circle. I'm trying to get that stretch now through my hamstrings. Circle the arms, and I'm going to find that extension to bring me back up and taking two more and the hand [inaudible]. Ah, that's where I wanted to go as my head to my shins. Took me three but I got there and Bree [inaudible] yeah, maybe they got there because of the breath, I believe.

Ah, deeper contraction of the abdominals helping me get all the way down. Taking that moment to stretch out and some rowing facing front one and two. Rowing still on my red. Hands from the chest and a long tall spine. Inhale down with the arms using the back and the shoulders all the way around to the shoulders. So the breathing, do you want to allow the shoulders to remain away from the neck muscles of support from the sides of the back. All this wonderful opposition as well. So as I inhale, I mean a long abdominal stretching down toward the pelvis.

My arms going up, I long abdominals getting down Torian pelvis. I could just sit here comfortably. [inaudible] but I'll continue on into rowing too and bending down. [inaudible] how much reach gonna get in the inhale? Following the breath.

[inaudible] trying to sit a little taller. Exhale, pause. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] two more here. Growing a little taller. Exhale in the bending down, easy neck and shoulders. So I'm continuing to kind of connect to those lats of course, and I'm thinking a more internal connection today, letting my muscles do what they know how to do. [inaudible] trying to keep my mind more active with my breathing. Okay, let me go into pulling straps now. So I'm grabbing a hold of my long box. When changed my straps, moving my gear, I was forward that whole time.

Now for pulling straps, I'm going to combine one and two together and gonna start with my chest right at the front edge near the corners, reaching up on that rope, getting a very good long reach. Then draping down. So perfect one for the breath. So as I inhale, it's will help me float up to the chest lift. [inaudible] exhale, open out to the t position. Inhale, pulling the arms back in toward the sides, lifting a little more with that upper chest and exhale all the way over the edge in here. Reaching for the sides of the room. Of course, feeling my lats help pull my shoulders down, away from the neck.

And again, going inside, what can I connect to internally? Keeping it simple. It's my breath today and open. [inaudible] one more here. [inaudible] moving next into teaser. [inaudible] I'm just saying my heart rate a little more elevated at this point.

Concentrating on my breathing and moving in a different way. Feels good. So I'm lined up near the back end. I'm gonna Start in tabletop. See how I do. I'm going to do a full breath to get up and a full breadth to return long diaphragm toward my legs. Strong upper belly man. Again.

[inaudible] calm me down. I need that opposition still reaching with my arms toward my legs as my legs reach out. But then finally the arms drift away and it come up. [inaudible] feeling pretty steady. See what happens if I add three arm movements [inaudible] new that exhale into those upper abdominals. Ah, [inaudible] Angelina didn't get one more down all the way.

[inaudible] okay. Taking my box away, we can actually hook these ropes back up his straps, keeping things tidy. Head rest up because they don't need it down. And to bring up a high bar again and add a blue spring along with the red and walk up onto the reformer and get up on tippy toe. Relevate heels halfway up that moving that carriage. I'm just going to be here for a moment and work on a long in the hamstrings held us needing to rotate on top of that femur head and this one as well. Now I'm upside down. The breathing relationship is slightly different. Now that exhale is like I'm pulling myself up hill here, diaphragm still toward lower pelvis and exhale pulling up hill.

So I'm gonna work on it. Just a little arabesque. I'm not going to push the carriage with this. I'm going to work and keeping the carriage in [inaudible] so you can maybe think, I guess Eric [inaudible] prep and switching and transferring weight. [inaudible] loading that standing leg [inaudible] [inaudible] you can the connection to the breathing [inaudible] and one more each side trying to keep my back in extension. Oh [inaudible] and the last one and lowering all the way down. Long back stretch, feeling a little sweaty.

Ms Dan that red and blue, I'm not sure if my is wide enough. That's okay. Check it out. So for me, some a little shorter for me to get my heels all the way up to the shoulder rests. I'm not in a right angle. I'm not really happy about that lineup. So I'm going to move my feet back. I want to really establish more shoulders above pelvis there. Long back stretch. I'm going to work the pelvic tilt and again exhale [inaudible] the next one will take me out.

Long lumbar occur opening the pelvis down towards the floor, premium back, pressing up through those triceps. Wow. And up one more time. Taking the exhale, the reverse. I really need that contraction in those lower abdominals for that flection. Inhale as a final long spine. Wow.

Then the last one, bend at the elbows. Push and lift a little taller to come in and find that nice level spine. I'm going to step one foot, one foot, wipe my hands tendon stretch. Staying on two springs. I've got red and blue down there. Trying to get confident with this. A round back. It's really deep. Round back. Not a hip fold cause I don't, I know I'm not round anyway. I have that nice curve here.

Letting the carriage move because my heels dropped down. [inaudible] yeah, and stretch any abs down toward the pelvis, pulling them up toward the upper belly. Moving with my breath. [inaudible] [inaudible] one more [inaudible] nick, try the rear leg release to the side, right leg first two repetitions. [inaudible] we need that breath here. [inaudible] oh for inhale a lot of energy off this outside leg.

[inaudible] just a little bump there and coming down. I'm gonna go into a little stomach massage. Ms. Day on my red and blue, I like to have my setup up, my shoulders above pelvis rather than more traditional, which is further forward. This works much better for me. I kind of take just a second and pull myself up the hands reaching forward. Inhale and as I come in again, that upper abdominal connection and Bree that length with strength.

[inaudible] last one. I'm gonna move next into rotation toward my right. As I inhale, we're really not thinking too much about how far I twist for me. Can I inhale through the rotation? Can my body follow the breathing? Yeah. One more.

Monkey stretch my monkey stretch. How would a monkey brief? I'm not sure. Probably the same as I would in and out [inaudible] for right this moment. I'm going to try to reach my lumbar back place. That's challenging for me to connect to and then bending those knees to come all the way forward and then moving into semi-circle. So somebody circled, I'm just gonna lay that down. Head rest up. I'm going to go to outside reds high bar staying there.

[inaudible] getting the feet up on the foot bar. First position. Lifting those hips. Pardon? In my shimmy there. I'm a bit sweaty, so sticking to my reformer. Okay, so extending the line of the arms. Where do they start? I'm gonna to start thinking they're here at the base of my ribs. [inaudible] based on my ribs relating to those hip flexors in those quadriceps.

Nice long extension. Now can tracking the hamstrings and glutes a little more for more stretch, more pelvic tilt. I'm going to take a breath. I'm going to start that exhale. Moving that contraction to the upper abdominals. The same time an opposition reaching back through the arms, finding a very ooey-gooey stretch over the edge, sitting into the springs. He was in the back of the legs to push. Now I'm not going all the way.

I want to keep three about a halfway out so that I can press the feet to the bar, feel the pelvic rotation, work that body coming up into that bridge, using the hamstrings to come back in. And again, the exhale. Ah, [inaudible] inhale. [inaudible] awesome. Coming back in one more round. Ah.

[inaudible] yeah. And can my body follow the breathing? This one's challenging me a little bit and as I push the carriage back on the inhale, stopping half, three quarter way. [inaudible] Ah, I want the inhale down into the pelvis. Stretching this line. Now the exhale, tilt, curl [inaudible] using that strength in the upper abdominals. And again, [inaudible] [inaudible] once more. [inaudible] ah, enjoy that quadricep stretch. Holding down lower for me so that I don't pop those ribs and lose that connection.

Ah, knees are narrow. One more breath for me. Okay. [inaudible] alright. And the Shimmy back. Okay. Nope. Gosh, I get sticky here. Moving into chest expansion. Five stretch. I like to go to one red and one blue. And back up we go.

I'm gonna go ahead and hold on uh, above the bracket. Getting the weight right over the knees. That solid connection in the shoulders, the size in the back, hamstrings, active. So I'm going to do four through chest expansion. Would the head turn right? Left Center, ah, to the left. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] five stretch. Starting up on those knees. Here I go.

Inhaling, stretching the low abs toward the thighs, thighs towards shoulder rest. [inaudible]. Inhale, trusting that breathing, using it to come up. Two more to go. Getting further down. Once again, connecting to my adductors, hamstrings, lats, all the way back up. And I'm going to rest for a moment and do a few more of the kneeling side, arm and a date. Take mine down to blue.

I'm going to go withdraw a sword and then kneeling arm overhead. So for me today, the inside arm is going to be your long by my knee. Maybe do three to four repetitions. Thumb up to the belly button. Feeling the glide. I'm going to move away slightly. Palm faith's up. Really try first to get that openness in this left side of the ribs.

Hips, nice and square. Inhale to stretch the arm and bend and inhale the stretch. [inaudible] wow. [inaudible] other side, Long Arman side feeling the scapular support from the sides of the back. Adductors and hamstrings supporting the lower body. I stretch the arm return. I'm gonna keep that thumb up to support that external rotation of the humerus.

Two more. We lengthen. I mean back to the breathing. Oh arm overhead. Getting first, getting the side bend, the opening up, up and the inhale using those nice supported triceps. One more time in inhale.

Oh and now I'm so moving into a little more of a side bend rotation. I'm gonna go into my one red Cleopatra. Started with my left arm on the pulling work on the arm works. I'm going to do my left arm as my support arm on a bar, legs and feet or stacked fingertips or flat hand. If your arms and shoulder bodies proportion is connected.

I need fingertips so that I don't drop my chest. I'm here. I'm going to start looking over toward my feet and contract into this bend side to support that nice spinal rotation, opening them bottom waist toward the mat. That's the inhale that said breath. I follow my breath coming up, stretch down, pulling up an end to the body to more [inaudible]. [inaudible] changing sides, feet and knees, getting his on that hip is possible. Oops.

Profile. Stretching the waist to the mat. Enjoying. Nice opening an exhale and exe off. [inaudible] I'm coming up and into that rotation up and end the rotation. Yes. Well I think I'm going to go control front here, so one red [inaudible] and we'll put my sticky one hand, one foot.

Now I'm going to move that carriage out and establish my position of shoulder over wrist before I get the second hand in. I'm on the ball of that foot. The heel is above the toes, so I've got those two things set up to make it much more efficient to step in to position. I was holding that line [inaudible]. Now can I move them with the breathing in him? [inaudible] I'm gonna take one more and then on to this last one. Taking it more into the up stretch and getting those hips up.

I need to come down. I'm slipping so I will not do that cause I don't have another sticky handy. Keeping it safe. I'm going to lower my foot bar. I'm gonna go into a sides. Danning split. Speaking of now I'm going to find myself halfway out on the reformer and I want to find a challenge for my stance. I don't want to go all the way over there for me.

That's a little bit far, so I'm going to wiggle that foot out just a little bit more so that I've, as I'm staying pulled into that bumper, I am feeling the work needed just to stay there. I see a lot. Inhaling, ah, accenting the end of the carriage. Mir following my breathing. Okay. Relaxing the pelvic floor here. One more.

I'm going to stay here and do the hinge at the hips. I'm trying to keep my carriage still. I really hope my sweaty foot here is going to be fine. I do really use those ad doctors. I want to pick up this pretend stack of leaves or flowers.

Pull them out of the ground, bring them up to me, maybe toss the flowers and bring that carriage all the way back in. Not done until I feel myself at that bumper bend to that standing knee and coming down safely. Heather side. [inaudible] demerits. I made a noise. Okay, so I'm finding where my challenge point is finding those adductors moving with the breathing [inaudible] he got let go of those adductors at all or else that foot will not stay put. So I'm going over now I'm going to try to get through it. That foot is going to give me a little hit.

Hello, I'm going to pick up the flowers where the leaves. I'm also trying to keep carriage still and I'm going to toss him. Let me make sure my bell vis is underneath me marine, my kerogen [inaudible]. Then I've been out to that knee and a step down so I'm not quite satisfied with my inverted v. Stretch my up stretch for me to feel satisfied with that.

I'm going to go back into something. I'm going to put my springs back on all of them as a mounting for safety. I'm going to go back to my high bar. I'm going to step back into my control front position. Of course I will not be pushing the carriage cause everything is loaded. I need to feel satisfied with the stretch. I did not finish, so I'm going up [inaudible] I feel much better.

Yields are up above the art or the balls of the feet. Head is between my arms. I'm trying to reach that sky with my sits bones. Again, I'm climbing up hill with my diaphragm breathing. [inaudible] [inaudible] two more of those. I'm gonna Finish with a nice standing roll down. I might need to back up so I haven't hit my reformer and I as I roll forward here, kind of a blessing that the wall is there. I don't want to let my hips lean back.

Some trusting that I round over my legs and my arches of my feet are very supported and activated. Now take a nice breath and come back up. [inaudible] one more time with my arms reaching from the sides and over. Breathing in. [inaudible] here we go. Moving with our breathing. Thank you.


Who needs 60 minutes...that was perfect. Studied w/o audio...gotta go back & listen AND watch. I love your cueing! Wait...then again to actually DO! Thank you Amy - you never disappoint!
Hi Jennifer, glad you enjoyed this one. It was much more introspective/contemplative than some that I've done, but it was intentional. I wanted to be a little more quiet and allow people space to feel the work deeper this time. Hope it translated!
Great rhythm and flow throughout the class. A good use of 40 min. I felt worked. Loved the side arm series that I haven't seen at PA in any of the reformer workouts. My favorite class of yours IMO.
Hi Pele, thank you for your feedback and comments. I value your opinion, and all opinions from our PA members and I do take them to heart. I tried to talk less in this class and open the viewing space for everyone to really listen to themselves and feel their own breath too. What I found for myself was a depth and calm that was magnificent! I'm glad you enjoyed it too.
Awesome as always Amy. Really great to focus on the breath. Thank you for all your energy and innovation. Though teaser on the long box - my nemesis! I can do it on the mat no problem, but oofff, on the reformer not even close. Some day :)
Thank you so much Robyn....I appreciate your feedback very much regarding the reminder to focus on the breath. As it is the foundation of our work, I thought it would be nice to have that a focal point of a workout. The Teaser I performed in this class wasn't my best----a little too flat in my lumbar! Oops.....on I go to practice it myself! Lumbar flexion remains one of my biggest challenges! :)
I think that might be my challenge with the teaser as well - will have to pay attention to that the next time I do it. Thanks again.
Let's keep up our practice!
Great emphasis on breath, I enjoyed being a student :)..... It was a great work out I really like to load my springs on foot work... Either really heavy (like all) or really light (like one blue). Most of my clients like heavy heavy on foot work.... Teasers are hard, my tight hamstrings force me to modify. I loved yours though Thank You
thank you so much Amy. Back to PA after surgery. Always look foward to your classes.
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