Tutorial #2544


10 min - Tutorial


Find a moment of suspension in your body during Footwork on the Reformer in this tutorial with Judith Aston. She continues with her application of Aston Kinetics in Pilates exercises, sharing tools that will allow you to feel the movements all the way through your body. By changing the angles of your alignment and adding a ground force reaction, you will be able to feel the energy from your feet to the top of your head.

In addition to the foam pieces that Judith adds for the shoulders, she also uses a Medium Seat Wedge under the pelvis.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Wedge

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Apr 10, 2016
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Okay. We're onto another application of Aston Kinetics for the reformer. This one is the footwork and Kristy, I'm going to have you do it again pretty much the way you often do it. This particular version. Yeah. While she's doing this, you said, okay, that you just keep going while she's doing this. What I'd like you to feel, Christie and the rest of you to look for. How far does the movement travel through her body?

You've seen most of it going into her legs. You see quite a bit of hyperextension at the knee. I don't see much movement going past her hip joint actually. Okay. Um, one of my interests is that every movement we do will have some ratio of that same movement goes through the entire body. It may not be the same amplitude in force, but it does demonstrate that it is translating through the body.

So let me just talk about that for a moment, Kristen. So here, this is Mr bones and I'm going to hold him by his head. Um, when the body plays with these two forces that we have here on this planet, gravity pushing us down and ground reaction pushing us off the earth toward the stars. When a body is better aligned, both of those directions of gravity on the down and GRF on the up will translate through the entire body, okay? In this case, when her legs are that far in front of her pelvis and alignment to her head, when she pushes, that force goes mainly into the back. So that translation of force doesn't go through the trunk, the neck and the head, okay, let me demonstrate that for you on my own body, okay? That if I am here just in front of this wall and I push off my feet, you'll see the translation of that force go all the way to the top of my head.

If you're looking on this wall right here behind me, you'll see it go through when I bring my feet out to the degree that she is, and I'll just lean on this wall for right. No. When I push off my feet, it actually goes right here through my back. You won't see my head lift because the translation of force is going into my back. So the piece here that I would like her to play with is, um, I have these designs that I use and this is a triangle to bridge the angle from her feet through to the rest of her body. So now as you do this, start to move slowly so I can just make you aware of the tibial plateau. So if you can do this slowly, let this day forward to keep going.

Keep going right there. Now go ahead. Beautiful. Come on back and feel the push off your feet. Go through your body and a little bit through to your head. See if you can imagine. Now, one of the reasons it can't go through your head pause is that the angle is flexing your neck and head, putting the head on the front part of the neck. So if you'll drop that two flat.

So now she's in, when she extends, you'll see she's in a nice diagonal all the way from a little higher here, little less high all the way to her head. So Nancy, if you can feel the movement go all the way through your body, you can definitely, she said very nice. Now when we have this push off, this ground reaction, there is always the opportunity for a moment of suspension at the top. It's like being in an elevator. Okay? And you start to get to the top. There's that moment where you feel suspended before you kind of land. Yeah. Yeah. So that comes from the force pulling us up to the whatever floor.

This is the force. It's translate. See if you can imagine that it goes out your head. And that determines when you bend your knees to come back rather than some rhythm. You're doing it by how you feel, the translation of the forces going through your body. You're still getting the excellence of this beautiful exercise. You're just letting your whole body be involved.

Very nice. Can you feel the difference? Okay. And then once you think for a little bit, then you can stop the thinking and feel. And when you're ready. I have one more little idea. Okay. When you have a body that has one leg longer than the other and that person jumps in the air, which leg is going to hit first? Generally the longer leg? Yes.

So it goes right, but a lot of times people are so used to doing things bilaterally symmetrical that they create additional compression in the leg and extra extension and strip length, toning in forced length in the shorter leg. Trying to pretend it's longer. Okay, so I suggest people play with what I call this asymmetrical push off. Push off. So it's one foot in the other foot. It's almost imperceptible to the eye. You'll feel which one it feels better to do.

Okay. And now go ahead and let that go through and see if you can feel the asymmetry. Maybe go through your whole body. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. It's almost like a feathering, we call it, especially here. Yeah. Good. So you get a little massage for the neck and head. Yeah, it's not much because you are in tone, but still now come back and please contrast.

I'm going to take this out. Please contrast the way you did it the first time. Head up and just identify some of the differences for yourself. And I suggest you do the same. Bizarre. I even knew what was going to happen. It's bizarre. Yeah, I can tell you.

You tell me. Well, for one I'm, I'm all of a sudden having to rethink about the needs a lot more cause I can feel it, the energy drop there. I'm not really sure how it gets passed there, but then I feel it again dropping here. Um, I'm aware of the firmness of my sacrum, so I guess those pressure. Yeah, I can feel that a lot and good to be able to identify. Usually we're stabilizing. There's so much exercise and dance that's taught where you stabilize a part of the body while the rest, it doesn't have to be overdone. It just, there will be some response when it goes all the way through. So, okay. I won't leave you with that one in. Please go ahead and make some changes. Okay.

So a nice diagonal consistent angle to the body to translate the forces all the way through while working the legs, toning the legs. And in this case probably toning the core. It's more evenly. It's straight. Yeah, it looks good. That's great. Good. Very, very good. Great. Okay. So once you play with this idea of this feathering or just it respects the differences of the two sides that they're not exactly the same.

And so it's this idea of just wavering in between and when this wavering happens through the body, it just engages more of the body, whether it's for toning, whether it's for loosening, whether it's for stretching. One of the things I'd like Christie to feel is a, just putting a little piece of foam right here above the shoulders so that it's not a solid firm end range for her shoulder that she pushes against, but that she has some give in there. You could use a towel on this piece of foam on this. Go ahead and, and just see if you can feel what that suggestion makes [inaudible] [inaudible] in contrast to, I'll take them out. Um, it's, it's like a block me literally. It's supposed to be a block to hold you in place. That's true. And it's curved and that's also very nice.

But if you have just a little bit of cushion, it's amazing. How, Huh? Energetic block. Okay. The suggestion is it stops there. Yeah. Okay. Yes. By comparison. For sure. And what kind of phone was that? Because if I feel like it's not just a sponge or a phone, this foam is high resiliency and high density. So it gives, yeah. We make all of our wedges out of this conform.

Yeah. It's, it's cause it, well, I guess that's why I feel like here too. Yeah. It allows me to continue the energy into it more than this does. Yeah. The body is supposed to move all the way through. Okay. Okay. All right. Have Fun.

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Jamie H
1 person likes this.
Unfortunately, footwork is generally overlooked. The vast majority of people take their feet for granted. This video is a wonderful reminder of how powerful our feet are and what types of techniques we can use to strengthen our bodies.
1 person likes this.
Fascinating education on alignment and fluidity of movement. Thank you!
2 people like this.
Studying with Judith over many years gave me an access to what it means to partner with gravity, rather than "fight" gravity. I have also developed, through this awareness, my own voice and way of seeing the translation of forces through the entire body..Down the Back and Up the Front! Judith's powerful understanding of the value of SET UP is transformational...and helped me to awaken my own biointelligent body genius so I can help others awaken to their genius!
3 people like this.
I would also like to contribute this jewel to teachers who are curious about using these distinctions of gravity and ground reaction force with their clients, so that you can SEE the transmission of forces through the whole body from foot to head...I just filmed a client, Annie, who has shared about her struggles of being out of her body for years, and in this video I am sharing with you, she is expressing what has awakened for her in FOOTWORK....it is so powerful!.
.http://www.pilatescente rofaustin.com/videos.html
Thank you so much. I once had the opportunity to offer a devoted yogi friend of mine some time in footwork on the reformer. She moved in and out a while and then said, "Oh, this is like headstand." I have longed for other people to feel that foot to crown space and reach, and have not been able to articulate or guide that sensation. Thank you Judith for offering a beautiful way to teach this. Please, many more tutorials!!!
Ms. Aston - could you please tell me where to purchase that (small) form of "Mr. Bones" ? Found it so helpful as a visual in your tutorial. This concept of the GFR is fascinating - finding it a little difficult to communicate/ teach especially after having established a method of teaching that does not recognize it. Still working on it ! Thank you for the wonderful instruction.
Hello E.A.! Thank you for your inquiry. We are now taking pre-orders for "Mr. Bones." Contact our office for more information: office@astonkinetics.com
Thanks E.A.!
Judith! You found "Mr. Bones?" Fantastic!!!
Valya Karcher
Thank you Judith and Kristi!
hi, love everyting i am learning here!

where do i purchase the pads you used on the shoulder rest and which pad from your site did you use with kristi on the reformer?

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