Class #834

Fletcher Reformer Variations

45 min - Class


Distinguished instructor Kyria Sabin joins Pilates Anytime for the first time with this Reformer Class representing the work of Ron Fletcher. She and her colleague Deborah Mendoza share 5 Reformer variations reflecting the depth and intricacy of Fletcher Pilates. A full-body workout that is focused, continuously expanding in its complexity, and beautifully demonstrated. Welcome Kyria!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Oct 25, 2012
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Hello. I'm curious Saban, I'm director of Fletcher Polonius international and I'm, this is Deborah Mendosa. We've been working together for 17 years and I'm very pleased to present on Pilati sunny time today. We've planned to show five variations, Fletcher variations on the universal reformer. So, um, we will announce them as we go through and I hope you enjoy. So Deborah, we'll start with her back to the machine. And what I'd like for her to do is start just by lifting the arms laterally to warm up the breath. So inhale lifter and exhale. Press down and again, inhale, lift and exhale.

Press down and notice how the breath initiates the movement. Inhale, lift and exhale. Press last time, lifting up and pressing down and then going into a play. I reaching forward a parallel play and pressing tall thinking of lifting up as she goes down and pressing down to lift up. So she's warming up for leg and foot work and he'll re index held press. Last one. Reaching forward. This time she'll play.

Just sit down on the side of the machine and just take a breath. Just center the body beginning with lateral rotations. She lifts the right arm up, rotates towards the foot bar, placing the hand and reverse with the brash and the left and lifting up and center. Notice how the lower body stays. Still. The rotation is isolated to the spine. Lifting up and censure. Last one up and rotate.

Lifting up and center the body. The right arm lifts up and around. And from here she can tracks her belly to respond to draw the legs in and extends the legs under the foot bar. Take another breath to center the body and contract four words. So what I want you to notice is this even contraction through the spine and the arms are parallel to the floor.

The pulse comes from the lower back halls, two, three, four, six, seven and then she rolls down the first breath to reach the back of the pelvis. Second breath into the lower back. Third breath to place the shoulders. And the fourth breath to place the had the address does. It's a little too high. Yes. Maybe bring it down just a notch.

Okay. Right there. Okay. She tries to like sand, an extensive like except to the ceiling and ideally the legs are coming to a 90 degree angle. If the legs are on the angle, you want to be sure that you're holding supporting the legs from the low belly. But ideally we're coming to a 90 degree angle here and it's a flex of the phage and press to a point. Notice the foot articulation, flex and press to point. And again, flax press to point, beautiful feet down and plaques pressed to point from here, just flexing the toes back and then place the metatarsal on the foot barn. So we're in the Relevate position and it's a fairly high Relevate position. It's three red springs on the foot bar and we want the weight evenly distributed across the ball. So the faint, take a full breath to extend the legs, opening up the hips.

Sure. Inhale, lengthen further, exhale, fold into the hips to come all the way in. And again, full breath to extend and he'll reach longer out of the hips. Exhale, fold to come in two more times, reaching long. Notice how the breath powers the movement. And then take a full breath to extend the legs back, staying back. Let's try and let's go into the flex Relevate with an arm lift. Inhale, lower the heels as you lift the arms and press them up.

And again, lower limb and press. Ah, let's do that two more times. Last time. Lower lift and press. Lifting the arms to grow longer and lower the arms as you play and come all the way in. Just three times. Full breath. Depress out, lower the heels, lift the arms and press up. Two more. Sure.

Lifting the arms as you grow longer out of the hips and press down to come all the way in. Same pattern to flex for elevates. Notice how the lower body and upper body have ride at the same time. Lengthen out, coming all the way in. Just one repetition. Sure.

And lengthen further to come all the way and extending the legs back up to the 90 degree angle. Sh and let's just work the turnout in the hips. Turn out and parallel. Notice how the action comes from the hips, not the lower legs. Turn out and parallel last time out and parallel.

Turn out and open the legs to a narrow vein. And it's a very crisp circle. And the hip socket in Hail. Exhale, Hale X. Hell holding this position. Separate the legs a little bit wider, keeping the back on the mat, place the feet down to the floor. And let's just take two breaths here to center the body in printing the spine into the mat and then lifting the arms up. Think of the arms as a frame, an upper contract into the frame early forward.

And then peeling the spine from the low belly all the way up and over into that perfectly round curve rolling up through the spine and take a spring off. So we're now on to red springs. And then from here, let's just lift the arms up and open the arms out to the sides and let side bend up and over to the side. Inhale center the body and the other side. And again, lift, anchoring the hips, bending the spine. Two more times, lift and oh and lift and oh for the center of the body. And let's turn the palms to face down and rotate the body to the mirror and censure and to the window.

And shanter are using the breath to rotate the spine. Shan, again, rotate and center. One more set. Yes. And then reaching the arms forward.

Contract low in the belly to initiate the roll down, reaching the lower back and placing the head. Draw the legs into a tabletop position. And let's place the balls to the feedback on the bar and extend the right leg long to the far wall. So notice how one hip is flex. The other hip is open and we're really to reach, it's a hover position over the bar. The rest of the body is length and doubt. Take a full breath to press back and draw the the working leg to a pos.

Say position so the toes are to the knee and then open the hip to extend all the way out. Open and folding the hips and reaching long. Sure, two more times. Maintaining your midline. Last one, pressing out. Feel that fold in the hand and reach out.

And then just take a breath to switch legs. Placing the right, extending the left and a full breath. Draw the toes to the knees. And then think of gliding the leg out of the hip, pulling from the hip and for reaching out of the hip. Two more full breath. And then take another breath to switch. Placing the left, extending the bright, going into a devloped pay. So it's a full breath.

And notice how the legs arrive at the same time in both directions, pulling and for us. So it's a very clean movement. Pull through the air, whereas do the air pull and reach out. Wonderful to think of the air as a solid with this piece. Pull and extend out. Last one and take a breath. Just switch. Same Movement.

Notice how the hips are stable and the legs are working. And again, pulling from the hip, extend the knee from the knee and extend the, yeah, two more times. Last time. Draw it in an extent. Ah, pull and extend out. Again, full breath to switch. So now we'll go into the full pattern. So Deb, the, the pattern is a full breath to extend up flexing both feet. And then we'll do the [inaudible] without that, without the dynamic on the first ones. So I'll talk you through it.

So it's a full breath to press and extend up. Inhale, flex both feet, pressed a point, lower the leg, lift the leg bend and extend and again, pool Addicks and flex and point lower and lift this time adding a little more dynamic on that leg. Left. Draw the like in and Ah, flex and point. Lower limb bend and extend. Okay, one more time.

And switch sides. Same pattern going too slowly. And then two madding the dynamic, try the like in and Ah, flex and point. Notice that foot articulation, [inaudible] shoe, adding the dynamic lags and points. Lower lift, pull in and extend. One more time. Truck in and Ah, flex and lower lynch and in and to extend. Nice placing both feet back on the bar. And let's just press back, circle and place the hands on the shoulder rems.

And then as you come in and lift the arms up, backs of the arms to the mat, and again, circle and lace, lift and Yuri and again circle and like lift off and treat. Last one. And uh, and treat could circle the arms. Place the hands on the shoulder. Wrasse keeping the hands there. Come all the way. End Folding the hips. Let's roll the feet to a point and then roll the hips over to the side.

Keeping the shoulder girdle anchored onto the mat. Inhale, reach further in this traction. Then exhale, pull that hip back to the mat. Inhale and exhale. Roll to the side. Inhale, reach further and exhale fall to the mat. Notice how she's using her breath and again, full breath to the side. Inhale deep in this stretch. Exhale, pull from the hips last time over to the side. Inhale, lengthen and pull the hips back to the mat again.

Extend the legs up to the ceiling. Separate the legs, placing them down on the floor, lifting the arm Sab. Curl the upper body forward and take a full breath to peel the spine up and over the machine. Rolling up arms and spine together. Sure. And circle the arms back to place the hands on the match. And then from here, just contract back belly to spine.

And then let spring forward to a hinge and spring forward to a hinge. Full breath to contract back a spring forward to a hinge. Sometimes we go back to a high release. This time I'd like for you to go back to a contraction and spring forward to a hinge. Last time contract back. And then from here, lift the right leg up and over the machine and roll to a standing position. All right, so let's lift the arms laterally, lifting up and pressing down. And again, lifting up and pressing down. How do you feel? Good. Alright, so dev face turn to face the foot bar and let's draw the legs together and we'll go into a knee stretch pattern. So start lifted through your center. Circle the arms to the sides and place the hands shoulder width apart on the foot barn. Place the inside foot against the far shoulder, rest outside foot. Good.

And just sit back towards your heels, releasing your hands and find an upright position, organizing the pelvis. And then from here, let's just inhale, press the hips open, and then fold the hips back. And again, I'll open and full back. And think of that opening coming from the hamstrings. Lift and batch last time. Lift up and fold at the hips. Circle the arms, bring the arms right alongside the ears.

Draw the shoulders down. Contract low in the belly to place the heels of the hands on the foot bar. Good. And just take a couple of breaths deep in this position, anchoring the shoulders one more, and then take your next breath to extend the spine from the tailbone, lengthening all the way out. And then again from the tailbone, rounding the back, hips onto her all the way through the head, finding the fold at the hips, long to the waist, and then curl the spine all the way through here. Two more times around.

Lengthening out a little bit more here. Yeah. And then round the back. Last time, folding in the hips and rounding the back. So let's do four of the round back knee stretches. Inhale, press back and pull it in and press and o press one more press and pull in, lengthening out from the tailbone. Feel the stretch and four of the flat backs. Press and fold.

And try not to let the hips drop and in long through the neck. Last one. And then going back into the round back position. Two presses here. Press and contract in press and contract in lengthening the spine, folding into the hips and to presses here and singles. Full breath to round.

Press back once and in full breath to lengthen and press back once and, and sitting back towards the heels. [inaudible] and just released the roots and Brash and Lynn [inaudible]. [inaudible] good. Feel that lift from your back and harass. One more time. Lift and press and again circled arms laterally. Shoulders down and contract up and over placing the hands.

Okay. So we'll go into the roller coaster, which is a Ron's version of the down stretch and like many of Fronz pieces, it's a, it's a progressive movement which allows the body time to feel, um, what it should feel. So it's a full breath to lengthen out to a flat back from the hips, opening the chest from here. It's an inhale too deep in the fold and the hips and an exhale to press the carriage back. The next breath has an engagement of the hamstrings to press the hips down and a lift of the valley to find that position. So it's a long protected extension from here.

It's a quarter of the white to lift up and that I think of gliding the Scapula down the bat. Three quarters up, shh. And then she comes all the way up to the top of the movement. Inhale lifts higher. Exhale contracts back. Full breath to lengthen the spine.

Sure. Deep in the fold and your hips and press the carriage back. Full breath to lengthen that position and a quarter of the white, ah, and out, gliding the shoulders down and lifting the sternum. A pyre. Sh lifting all the way up to the top.

She inhale, lift higher and can track back. One more time. Folding into the hips, sit back and press that. Lengthen the line, open the chest, quarter of the way and a lift and lengthen all the way up. Finding that position. Inhale, lift, tire and contract back. Beautiful. Sitting back towards the heels. [inaudible] and again, press the hips open and full back.

Press the hips open and fold back. Two more times. Opening evenly, fold evenly. Shh. And last time, three and batch. And then coming forward and step off the machine and press down. You're working up a sweat. How do you feel? Great. Good. Okay, so let's go into a version of the stomach massage.

So we'll keep it on to red springs and um, just going to give you a little pad down. Okay. So again, with your signage to the machine, centering the body, circle the arms, place the hands, and let's draw that insight side leg. Up and over the machine, placing the hips right on the pad can maybe skewed a little bit further forward. Good. So in this position, let's just sit up challenges. Find that initial contraction from the stomach massage. So contract back and lift up and exhale contract back and lift up. Good Dave and the contraction. And then think of stretching it as you lift up last time.

Can track back and lift up. Good. So take a breath just to draw this in and out and take a full breath to hinge forward, folding into the hips. All of this is stable. And then coming back to an upright position and again, folding forward. Feel that nice deep craze and coming back up two more times. Folding forward and uh, this time fold forward and hold the position and then extend your arms out to a tee shirt and there's no counter waiting with the arms. So the arms move with the body pulsing from the hips.

Notice this clean line through the body last to last one. And lift to operate. Circle the arms up, reach the arms back behind. Shoon let's make that low contraction again. And extend the legs out from the contraction. Shh. Flex and point, flex and 0.2 and 0.3 and 0.4 and point flex, bend and place the feet down on the foot bar. Circle the arms up and can tract for word.

So in this position, let's just lower the heels down and think of lifting the heels from your contraction and again lower. So don't move the body just deep in the contraction. Two more times. Lauer and French. Ah, last time. Lower and press set. So this next part isn't fun, but it's good for the body and he'll roll the right foot to a point.

Exhale, extend out holding onto the contraction flax and lice and point and extend. Flex and place. One more time. Point and extend. Flex and place. Point and extend.

Flex and place. Loving me now. All right so lets, I'm the breath pattern Deb, that we'll do as an inhale back. Inhale, lower the heels, exhale, lift the heels and then make it a little bit more dynamic. That second exhalation deploy you in. Okay, so it's an inhale to press back. Inhale, heels down, exhale, lift. And in, in Hale. Inhale at Shell in Nice.

Wow. Just one and Dave and the contraction and hold it down. Lift the right arm off and circle it back and the left arm up and circle it back. [inaudible]. So one of the things that Ron emphasize to open the chest, sorry, is to have this long line through the arms. So just being aware of hyper extended elbows, if that's your tendency, it's different than holding on to the shoulder rest because that, do you see what that does to the shoulders? It sort of wedges you in.

And so we want to have that nice long extension from the shoulders straight out through the middle finger. Alright. Heels, a little higher. Double breath. And in Hale, inhale a shell in out of the head. Wow. One. Uh, and, and let's circle the arms up and Contri for [inaudible] words. So this is going into the Fletcher pattern. Take a full breath to press back, lifting the left arm up and again, coming up and over. Use sitting on low belly.

Notice how the spine and the legs again arrive at the same time. And up and over to come in and the left up and over, and the right from here, up and over. Good shoulders down. So come back a little bit further. Okay, so let's go into the pattern. It's a full breath to lift on the left. Going. Inhale, rotate. Exhale, hinge on the diag and also open up a little bit more if you can there.

Inhale Center and come in from sheer, full breath. Lifting up on the bright. Shh. Rotate without moving the machine. Stretch the body back center and up and oh her. And again, lifting up, rotate and lengthen out of the head. Center up and Oh for last one, lifting on the Bryant. Shh.

Rotate and out of the hip. Beautiful. Center up and Oh for lifting the body with the arms. Circle the arms behind shoes again. Find that contraction. Extend the legs from the contraction. Sure. I'm Chris Cross, two, three for sure.

And Open. Draw the legs together. Draw the legs to parallel and sweep the legs off the side of the machines. Rolling all the way up. And so that's just three pieces of movement. All right. So let's switch to one red spring and we'll go into the chariot pull pattern. I'll go ahead and lower this for you.

So we'll do a combination of the chariot pole and the hinge. So the foot bars down, we'll start with one red spring. So again, this time, circle the arms, place the hands on the shoulder end. Sure. And then place one knee than the other.

Could it come to the lifted kneeling position? Good. And then just reached down. And we normally say in a Fletcher class, gather your leather because we have leather straps, but gather your ropes and risers. All right, so lifting up, open the chest. Okay. And then just take a full breath to expand the chance to inhale and exhale back. And then inhale further. Exhale forward.

And again, full breath. She take it a little further with the breath and forward. Sure reaching and for word and notice how the breath gives you that extra bit of expansion [inaudible] and for wearing. Then just inhale back, exhale forward, stretching the breath with the movement ax. Health forward two more times three. Sure.

Last time pull and four word [inaudible]. So we'll go into the head turns. Um, one of the things that that disturbed Ron on the head turns is that he felt that they were too quick. And so what he said is it's almost like we're trying to create a whiplash and said we'll do it very slowly. It's an inhale to pull back. Exhale, exhale, exhale forward and really try to see something beautiful view. All right, ready and inhale, pull and ash. Shell X, hell's center and four word and pull and ask Shell. Exhale.

Center and forward to more. Pull and see something. See something sentient and forward. Last time pull and Lush, lush center. And for word good.

I'm going into the hinge. Okay. Um, so you'd like choose springs, two springs for this. So we'll do two red. You could also do three branch or a mixture. So the most important thing about the hinge is maintaining the integrity of the line and not leading the piece with the upper body. So it's really about getting the thigh stretch, not without shortening the back. All right. So we'll take this again. Progressively.

This is very much of a Fletcher variation. So I'd like for you to take, if you think of the distance between your hips and your heels, take that a quarter of the way back, halfway back. Then we'll go three quarters and then all the way down. Alright, so quarter of the way back on a breath, lengthening through the crown. Inhale, lengthen. And uh, let's do that again and he'll lengthen further and a half way back. Showed us how the only thing that's moving is the knee joint and one breath to come up. Two breaths back, one shot and two and a breath to lift. She left three breaths back. One she said take the pelvis back, two and three and a little lift of the arms to come.

Uh, and again, three, two and three and a little lifted the arms as a for one, two h, three h and for sure then again a little lifted the arms and just watch that bend in the back. Good. And again, one h hold onto your low belly, she three reaching out through the crown, beautiful sh and the arms lift and forward. Okay. So now what we'll do is to take a full breath to go all the way back, a full breath to come all the way up three or four times and then add the extension to it. Okay. Ratting and full breath owl list and reaching out lift. And uh, she left and I'm off last time reaching long through the crown of the head and the arms as come up. So obviously country indicated for anyone with Nia shoes or limit the range of motion, but it's a good piece.

And Joseph Palladia said that we should do the thigh stretch every day going into the back extension. So it's a full breath to lengthen out and then isolating the extension that upper back and then lengthening out and then from the back of the legs and one more upper back lengthening and the arms and um, uh, good. Still doing okay. You're glowing this step. All right, so let's add the extensor sign. Go ahead and step off. And if you would add a third spring on for the, for the long spine stretch. Okay. So standing, let's go ahead and turn to your back as to the machine again.

So the final piece that we'll cover today is the long spine stretch. And I think it's another piece that's undercharged, um, that wonderful traction of the spine coming down. So again, let's do a play and press tall and again, folding at the hips, press tall last time, play a length Anush and [inaudible]. Sure. And lift the right arm up and around. And Go ahead and place the feet on the wood or the foot bar and maybe scoot a little bit further forward. Reaching the arms forward, shoulders down. And again for breaths to roll the spine, placing sh good. So the hardware is placed out on the extensor straps and go ahead and extend your legs out.

And what we'd like is to start in a long, low diagonal. So we're not thinking about pressing the legs down, we're thinking about using the straps to open the hips and lengthen out the lower back. So let's just find that position. Inhale, release the position slightly. And then in think of prep instead of pressing down, think of reaching out. So that was downtown. Did you feel that? Okay, so come up now. Think of reaching out into the straps. Yes, totally different. And again, lift up and reach out.

And again, opening up the hips last time and now and then finding again that 90 degree angle in the hips. Inhale, lift up to 90 and find that long diagonal reaching out towards the window. Inhale, lift up and exhale, reach out two more times. Imprint to lengthen. Last time, lifting up and out. Good when you feel that reach.

So let's do the the leg circles with a very defined breath. Inhale, come up to nighting. Exhale, turnout in the hands. Inhale, circle around. Exhale to parallel. Nightie turnout, circle and parallel. Two more times. Fold churn out and parallel. Last time folding into the hips. Turn out and now, wow. Full breath to turn out. So this version of the long spine stretch is his very fled shirt.

What we'll do is we'll start with four progressive open and closes of the legs with the legs and turnouts. It will be about six inches together, 12 inches, 1824 and then the fifth one, we'll bring the carriage all the way in. Take it slowly so you can really feel that progressive opening of the hips and think about really keeping this long and low. Okay, so starting small. Inhale, open and together, gathering little wider, little wider, wider still. And then from here, continue that action, bringing the carriage all the way in so the legs are still turned out and they're in a v position. Take a full breath to press up to your high shoulder stand and heel lift higher. Exhale, draw the legs together and then a full breath to the parallel position.

Rolling down through the upper back, rolling down through the rams shoe. Roll to the ways and then place the hips firmly on the mat. Press the legs out, fold, uh, coming up to 90 and ah and Ah, and 90. This time. Press out, bring the carriage all the way in and press up to the shoulder stand. Inhale, left tire turn, ouch and progressive. Open and together. Little wider, little wider and open the width of the machine. Hold it there.

Rolling down upper back. Feel that traction through the spine. Reach the waist and like the out through the hips. Keeping the turnout circle legs together and open and together. Little wider and together.

And to gather a little wider and to gathers. Circle. Draw the carriage all the way in. Press down to curl up through the spine. Lifting higher. Draw the legs together. Harrell owl and open the throat. Melt the rims, reach the waist, lengthen out through the pelvis and press and leg.

Press and left. Two more and last one and all the way in with the carriage peeling up to the ceiling. Sure. And get that extra little lift before you turn out. And again, open and together two, three I'd open and hold the position and think of it as tagging the spine long to the mat. Using the breath to massage the back down, reaching the ways and the Hess and circle and to gather. Draw the legs to parallel.

Fold the legs in towards you. And let's take the straps off. Well, that's pretty good for our first lesson. Okay. All right, so let's lift the arms out and curl the body forward all the way up, and then just circle your arms behind you.

Extend the legs out to a teaser and swivel the body off. Rolling up, and again, lifting. Oh, okay. One more. And here's to Mr Ron [inaudible] and thank you very much.


5 people like this.
HI Kyria and Deborah, That is a very good class, love it . It gives good stuff to work on!! beautiful stomach massage serie ! We can feel the work coming from a deep breath! Thank you to Ron to share this work with us.
4 people like this.
After watching the class, i took the class ! I feel great, thank you again Kyria & Deborah!! Hope to see u soon for more :)
2 people like this.
Beautiful Beautiful Class !! your wonderful cueing~ Kyria and execution~ Deborah brought my connection so deep !!
Thank You :)
3 people like this.
beautiful, what else can I say? thanks for sharing it with us.
3 people like this.
Pilates Anytime, you rock! Thank you Kyria and Deborah, this is no.1 in my playlist!
4 people like this.
Beautiful the variations. My spine feels amazing right now. Perfect cueing...barely had to watch video. Seamless transitions....not a second wasted. Thank you so much
3 people like this.
Beautiful! Thanks for this! :D
4 people like this.
Loved the precision and concentration of teacher and student. It was so clean and deep. Deb has such healthy feet; they inform the rest of her body. Thank you PA, Kyria and Deb.
3 people like this.
Excellent, thanks for sharing.
2 people like this.
Hi Deborah, It's Sandra from was really a pleasure seeing your beautiful routine and observing wonderful kyria teaching! I really learnt a lot from this class...hope to see something else soon ;) I'm looking forward to meet kyria on may in Italy! I'm really enjoying my new fletcher pathway...thanks!
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