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Hi everybody, I’m Kristi Cooper, welcome to class. Reformer, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, hope to have you all over the place and feel really good when you walk out of here today. So, Balanced Body Reformer, I’m starting very light, I have one spring on just to warm up the spine, get myself a little more lubricated, ready to go, and I hope that it happens for you that way as well. So, standing at the edge of your reformer. Foot bar’s up ’cause I know where we’re heading.
It could be down. Just take a deep breath in. Kind of put yourself in the room, decide what you wanna get out of it. So much of any workout or movement practice we do comes from your own decisions. Exhale, of course, inhale again.
And exhale and just make those decisions now. And if something doesn’t feel well, of course, modify, and I’ll do my best to offer suggestions for you. Here we go. We’re inhaling. As we exhale, we just allow the head to fall forward, round forward, reaching the palms or the heels of the hand to the edge of the sliding carriage. Head is down, check that out.
Can even look at your abs a little bit. Check out which way your knees are pointing. From here, as if the spine were moving the carriage, we start to inhale out, lengthening out. And exhale to come back in. You could do this lighter.
Sometimes it’s nice to do it that way. I just have it on one red. Inhale down, and then coat a straight spine. Bend your knees a little. Find the really long spine, and when you think you have that, reach the tailbone a little bit higher.
Abs are supporting you. Exhale round, come back with the carriage. It’s like just starting to, I say lubricate the spine, but feel your spine as if it had some real connection to the spring. When the spring comes in, it’s allowing you to open your spine in a different way. Press it out.
Your legs can be straight or go ahead and keep ’em bent. And exhale. Something I noticed for myself, I’ll just say it when we get there, inhaling out. Maybe aiming for your ears to be right between your upper arms rather than lifting your head right here. It’s real tempting to look forward. Let’s not. Exhale back.
And again, inhaling, hopefully starting to go right. I made the commitment to be here so the hardest part’s already over. We’re in it. And then you can come all the way up. Let your hands leave the carriage. Roll up.
I’m keeping my palms on the foot bar for a moment. You can put out your hands if your foot bar’s out, and just squat a little bit. Connecting your arms to your upper back, I always like to feel that, especially after starting with a roll. And then stand up, we’ll do it again, only arms will go off to one side. So exhale, round down.
Left and right hand are towards the left side. I basically have my right hand a little left of center. Inhale, everything else is the same. Reach that tailbone up. Exhale, come on back in. And again.
If you do bend the knees, try to keep ’em equally bent. Here we go. Nice and long. Come all the way back in, and roll back up. If your bar is up, go ahead and press into it. Little squat, find your arms on your back, and stand up, last set.
Exhale rounding forward. Both hands go off to the right side this time. And we inhale to elongate, gotta open up that spine here. I just caught myself trying to lift my head beyond the arms. And bring it back, do it again.
Inhale, reach just right here. Keep those arms right by your ears if you can. And then round back in, one more. Press it out. And bring it in.
Cool, we’re going back up. If you want that last one with a little squat, and finding your back. Ha, good. Stand up. Keeping it light. You might even want it a little bit lighter.
I’m gonna keep it where I have it, the one red. We can do some ab warm up here. So having a seat, not totally to the back, but somewhat close, you’ll decide once we get going. Take hold of your straps. And you can either hold the metal or even higher if you want.
I’m gonna hold basically the metal for now. And knees parallel. Okay, you could do this with a straight leg, but let’s just go knees bent, parallel for now. Sitting tall, the arms aren’t doing much, they’re just now part of the core. We roll the hips back, making sure you have room.
If you don’t, you’ll move forward. Check out your collarbones. These straps are sort of pulling on you. Not very heavy though, right? They shouldn’t be that heavy.
Start, exhaling, resist, curling forward a little bit. And then when you get to the top, sit up straight, inhale. Exhale, those hip bones, they draw back. You don’t drop down, but they do draw back, and everything else follows in line. Inhale, hold.
Start the exhale. Curling forward. When your shoulders get over your hips, that’s the time where you can almost put weight into your feet a little bit more and sit up tall. You can separate your feet wider if you can. Exhale, roll down. (exhales) Inhale. Starting the exhale, almost holding the waistline back, curling forward.
Maybe looking over your knees so you can see when those shoulders are over your hips and straighten back up, inhale. Exhale, roll back. Inhale. Exhaling, curling up. I get teased a lot for saying look proud, but this kind of works for me. So if when I roll down, I know my back is rounded, but I’m not hunching, right?
I’ve still got these long collarbones pointing to either side of the room. Kind of feel free in my neck, if not totally. And exhale forward. And again. (exhales) Just a few more ideas. It’s the same motion, so you can tune me out if you can.
Exhale forward. Something I sometimes think about, is how do I connect the back of my body or just my hamstrings to this abdominal work? So I’m gently pressing my heels into the headrest. And as I roll, it’s a sense of almost taking my feet out from underneath me, so I have that subtle sense of hamstring connection, and it is subtle. But it makes things a little more powerful in the long run.
Exhale, come up. We’ll give you two more so you can play with that. Straight spine. Exhale, it’s as if the spine is moving me, the heels are moving me a little. Inhale. Exhale.
One more like that before we add on. If you’re rolling back or sliding back, just adjust yourself, you’re the boss. In fact, let’s just stay back here for this one. Check the collarbones. We inhale, we’re going up partway, exhale.
Psych, go back down. Inhale. And here’s your thing. How much more curved can you get in the low back without changing that upper shoulder girdle? Exhale. Maybe not much.
And exhale. You can sorta soften in the legs and even the arms, you gotta hold on somewhere, but let’s hope that’s more in the middle. From here, pick up your right leg, float it, though, float it, it’s coming high, like right to the chest height and then it goes down. We’ll stay on that side. Three more. It’s like a helium in the leg, sort of.
I’m a big image person, so if it doesn’t work, just lift your leg, lower your leg. One more. (exhales) It’s not about the knee. The leg, I mean. Other side. And down. And up. So technically you could do this without a strap, right? Imagine you were. (exhales) One more time.
We’re gonna go down, to leave the foot down, come back up together, just sitting tall. Okay, now, for the moment I’m just gonna re-peg. And I’m gonna sit my back ever so slightly, or you can leave the feet in front. So what I’m trying to do is actually kind of brace the soles of my feet against the shoulder rest. So I am turning my knees to the left, sitting a little bit on my left hip side.
So both feet, or one’s almost crossed over, that’s not critical, but you wanna have something to brace against. If that is too short or too tight, you can actually spread this out, and hook your legs anywhere. You’re gonna want something to hold onto. Speaking of, grab the strap on that side. So where your feet are, that’s the strap you’re picking up.
And you’re going to hold on with the opposite hand. Lots of lefts and rights today. My feet are at the shoulder rest. My left hand is holding the strap. My knees are going to the left, pointed to the left.
Alright, here we go. Hand behind your head if you can, or you can just keep it in forward. Roll back. So essentially you’re trying to just go straight up the middle with your body. And in effect it’s gonna be an oblique curl.
Inhale, down. Down, down, down, not so far to straight, but exhale. And as you’re going, imagine going with that cord. Inhale down. Lean your torso with that cord. (exhales) Inhaling down. Three more here.
Exhale, starting that exhale, knowing you get to hold on from there, two more. Supporting yourself with your hand behind your head, last one here. (exhales) Boom. Just like that. All the setup we do again on the other side. So just adjust so you’re on your right hip now.
Feet against that left shoulder block. Recognizing, your body spirals one way and hopefully it’s with the planet. This is a little tougher side. So that’s where you want the feet to brace a little bit. Again, you can stretch ’em out a little.
Hand behind your head, and off we go, we roll down. Your arm is just an extension of that cord, and up. And down. Almost like you’re wanting to rotate your trunk even more, but don’t let the knees come up if you do, if you’re able to do that. And up.
I’m giving us two more. (exhales) One more. And up. Okay. Easy peasy. Re-peg those, I put my shoulder rest up, we’re heading into foot and legwork right now.
So put your springs on, I am going three red and a blue. Or you could go three full springs. You could also go lighter. It’s up to you. Lay down, lie down.
Heels are parallel on the bar. Just kind of take a second to settle in. You’re kind of nice and long in terms of your spine. Arms are down, feet flexed. Off we go. We press all the way out. Finish it.
Again, adjust, but try not to grip anywhere that you don’t have to. You can always tighten up the legs more as you go, here we go. Out and pull in. Out and pull in. Consider this part of your warmup. Fully finishing it, so you have strong legs.
(exhales) Five more. Trying to feel the back of the legs as well. Three more. Okay, come on in, stake, engage, just lower both feet down to the balls of the feet, heels are ever so slightly lifted, maybe a little more than that. Hold them there though, and off you go.
All the way, finish it, prove it, and pull back. All the way, again, I have my feet slightly apart. About hip distance. And then once you’re just hanging out and if it feels like nothing, you start thinking, well I could imagine squeezing my inner thighs together. Don’t, I mean, just try, it’ll engage differently.
Three more from here. Nice long neck. One, pull it in. Two, pull it in, here’s three. And come down, stay ready to go. We just swivel the hips, or the heels together. The knees turn out a bit.
Don’t go crazy on me, just make sure you can keep all 10 toes on the bar or do your best. All the way out, now you can squeeze those inner thighs and resist coming in. Here we go. Number two and pull it in. Three. Collarbone still wide. (sighs) Five more.
Can you connect to your middle so it’s not just the legs? What would that mean or feel like for you? Last two, here’s one. And two, come on in. Stay ready, just move your heels wide on the bar.
A bit of a turnout. In fact, we can go a little wider on the turnout unless you’re just so flexible, I’d rather you hold back. I’m not so flexible, so I’m gonna go a little wider. Off we go, we go all the way, and I’m back to imagining I could touch the inner thighs together and pull them. And two.
(exhales) Resisting, no real spinal changes. Let’s go for five more here. One and two. (exhales) There we go. We’ll do one more foot position with both feet. Take it down to the balls of the feet, again, you can go wider if you want.
Play with that. Out we go, and bring it in. (exhales) And try not to over grip with the feet, sometimes that can be tempting to do. (exhaling) Keep yourself, four more, making sure you finish it. We’re not just riding the springs, we’re using them as if our spine was somehow part of that. Two more.
And voila, come on back. Go back to the first position. Well, not the first one. Second one. On the balls of the feet. Parallel. Push out. You’re long, you’re not arching your back.
Nothing really changed. You just lower those heels under. Oh goodness, I just wanna hang out there, but we’re not going to, up and down. Up and down. For those of us who hyperextend at the knees, we’re not gonna do that. How do you do that?
You have to kinda engage the back of the legs, almost like you’re gonna bend them. Just kinda force that, rather than forcing your knees to the ground, let’s do five more here, one. Reach way under, push with the feet. Not just popping up and dropping down. On the next one, stay up there.
Lower your left heel, bend the right knee, straight up, nothing happened to your hips, you didn’t sway. Your knee didn’t change, it went straight up. Let’s go up to straight legs, switch. Take that little bit of stretch, and now we go quicker, with up and down, up and down. Line up those knees so they both end up straight for a split second.
And up and down. So you’re really working the foot from the bottom end. That’s the one. Just let it move, let it stretch. It helps us connect everywhere else. I’m gonna do four.
Four, three, two, one, let’s just hang out. Actually bend the knees for a second. Go back out. I didn’t mean second, and now if you want to take a stretch with me, take one, whichever foot down. Again, not so that you’re popping your hip to one side, but really just allowing for the stretch.
Supporting it with the other foot, but it’s not really working. Hanging out here a little bit longer. And then keeping the heel down, let’s slightly bend that knee, see what that does for you. Changes it a little. And then just play a little bit with, where’s the pressure on that ball of the foot, of the stretching foot?
Is it way out to the pinky toe or the big toe? Trying to find the middle ground. And then we’ll just lift up and switch. Hang, or stretch, I should say. Straight leg.
Hmm, sometimes it feels so good and sometimes it’s just like, wow, let’s move on. This is hard. (laughs) All right, just keeping that heel down though. If you want the other one, just slightly bend the knee, so you didn’t lift the heel to do it, you just took it out of that straight leg position. And you can come on down, let your legs go over the bar. We’ll go side to side, and nice little, make nice, make nice.
And then we’re gonna sit ourselves up, change the springs for a single leg. Which means I am gonna go to two red and a blue. So I’m just taking off one. And I’m almost already regretting it. I might go down to just two, but I’ll leave it for now.
And we are gonna go to side lying legs. So, coming onto your side. Facing front so you can see if you need to. And I’m most comfortable just with my hands on the shoulder block, you could hold your peg, you could put a pillow here or raise your headrest if you haven’t already. And then, the tricky part is getting kind of right on the side of your hip, the greater trochanter.
The other foot is gonna be on the heel. Most of our foot’ll be on the bar, especially once we get going, but you can move the foot forward a little bit, so it’s parallel to the bar. All right, here we go. Top leg, long waist, you just go out and straighten it. And this will kind of give you an indicator of where you wanna be.
I’m gonna come back in and actually move that foot back a bit more. So even though it’s hard to come all the way in, once I get going, it’s cool. Toes are relaxed. Off we go. We’ll call that one one. Long waist. Here we go, two.
You could straighten the bottom leg, I’m just leaving mine bent. That nice change of pace. Turn sideways. About three to go here. All the way out. We’re gonna come in almost all the way, and then do some pumping.
So we come in, inhale, let’s exhale out. Out and inhale. Inhale and exhale. Exhale and in. In and exhale, go all the way out.
Ends up being about 10. 10 pulses. We’ll see. Cool? Then, go ahead and turn that leg out. So now I’m on the, I moved it to the ball of the foot. I turned it out. Again. it can be somewhat forward, but let’s be mindful of not having to lean way back on the hips. Trying not to have to do that, if you have to move the foot more forward, you can.
Off we go, press all the way out, and in. And out. And in. I won’t be doing the pumping on this, so just commit to what you’re doing here. Finishing it.
Here’s six. By finishing it, I mean that straightening of the leg. (exhales) I’m doing one more. If you’re done, I’ll meet you there in one second. Okay, come on down.
Let’s just go to the other side. Carefully adjusting yourself. Right on the side of that hip. And the shoulder. So that’s as about as stacked as we can get.
Again, you can keep the bottom leg straight if you want. I just keep it with me so I don’t hit anything. And off we go. In, it’s the heel is doing primarily the press. One. Nice long waist the whole time.
(exhales) Five more. (exhales) Sometimes I have to prove to myself that I made it all the way there, so I exaggerate like an exclamation point, One more time, here it comes. Then we go almost all the way in, inhale to start it, Start the pumping on this exhale, here it goes. Exhale. Exhale, and inhale. Inhale and exhale.
Exhale and inhale. Inhale, last two, exhale all the way out. Boom. Come on back in. Ball of the foot, turn the knee up a bit. Try not to roll back a lot.
You could keep this parallel too if the rolling back kind of messes you up a bit. It’s not that critical that we change that angle, but off we go, pushing all the way out, and in. Two. Sometimes a little harder to finish this one. Especially if it’s in a turnout. (exhales) Five more.
(exhales) There it is. Nice and long, feeling good about that. Okay, go ahead and sit yourself up. I’m gonna take off one of the heavier springs so I’m down to one and a half. Lie back down. Play around with it. Hold abdominal situation again.
Take the handles in your hands, or the straps in your hands. Bring your knees up to 90. A little resistance on the carriage to get us going. Exhale, curl up into the 100. Stay there, reach the arms, just inhale, let ’em rise a little, just a little.
Exhale, press ’em down. Again, inhale, rise. Exhale down. Trying not to move the carriage, but curl the body forward. Three, and down. Here’s four.
Press from that upper arm. Five. Are you breathing? Inhale, expand wide. Seven. You can pump the arms. I’m just not feeling it today.
Curling forward. Curling forward. Let’s go for one more. Arms stay down, bend your knees, come down. Then your arms can go up. Heading into just an opening.
Curl yourself up again. Turn the palms toward each other and the feet out, opening. Exhale, close like you’re reaching under your legs. Open and close. Open and close.
Nice strong underarm area. You can flex your feet just for fun and point ’em, whatever. Three more. (exhales) And here’s three. Great. Bend your knees. Come on down.
Press out so you can step in just to kinda reorient yourself to the feet and straps. For just a little bit of frog. And then we’ll mix it up a bit. So tailbone is down, arms are down. Heels are together, we reach out, and we pull it in.
I typically exhale on the way out, but it’s up to you. Just kind of finding how solid you can be in the middle of your body while the legs are free. Remember that. (laughs) About three more here. I’ll call that three. Cool. Now you’re gonna bring it in. We’re gonna wanna lighten this, so take your feet out for now, please.
Sit yourself up and take off a spring. If you’ve got longer legs or really, really strong, you might keep it where you have it. I am taking it down to one full spring. Lying on our side for strap work, for one leg. Give you a heads up there.
I like my headrest up, just like before. So we’re back in that position again, right? Grab hold of the strap that’s right next to you in front of you. Carefully, carefully push yourself out, and put that top leg in the strap. Okay. From here, we’re gonna take both knees to 90.
So you can kinda look at that. And essentially, the the shin of this, both shins really, but the shin of the leg with the strap in it is kinda right in line with the reformer frame. And then you just push out, keeping it in line, so the heel is still in line with, it’s not come up behind you. And then bend. No big deal. Remember what we said about being solid in the trunk, so the leg can just freely move?
It’s kind of the idea here. Finish it by, it’s again, it doesn’t come behind you or even right underneath you, but it stays in line with that frame pretty close. Hmm, the control. Okay, next time you come back, the knees are basically aligned. Now let’s just lift the leg here, which isn’t gonna move so much, or at all hopefully.
And lift. And lift. Control. (exhales) I am going, I’m gonna call that eight right there. Then, if it’s available to you, you’re gonna straighten that leg straight out from that angle, so almost right in front of you.
And just pull straight back. And forward. We’ll do eight here too. Three. Nice, and you just pay attention to your back, and everything’s, again, solid.
Sort of my word for the day it seems. I know this next one’s eight. Probably. Okay, here’s the tricky part again, you’re gonna bend, just reach it to hold on, keep it taut in your hand, and then find that foot bar. Re-peg it, sit yourself up, either walk around, or just swivel around to do the other side.
I like to square off my hips first. Then we grab hold. Stepping into it. And again. Both knees basically at 90 just to get you situated.
You may have to look up and see how aligned you are with your frame. If you get too far back, it’s just weird, or too far forward, that is also weird. So here we go, just straightening. Maybe thinking about initiating from the glute, or where the leg meets the hip. (exhales) I still think of both sides of the waistline long.
I think I did 10 here, so I’m gonna do these last four. One more. This next one is where you realign the knees, so they’re one on top of the other. We do our best not to move the carriage as we lift the top leg up and bring it back. Number two.
(exhales) It’s like a play of resistance, not letting it go, that’s the hard part. I think this will be eight here. Then extend that leg forward. You don’t go so far forward, it feels like it’s automatically rounding your back. You can hold back on this one.
Then with that basically straight leg, pull back, and go back to the start. Two. (exhales) Four more, nice long body. Long leg separating the two. Last two. And finally, finishing that one.
Allow the knee to bend, hold onto it, guide yourself back to the foot bar. And you can re-peg the strap and have a seat up. Moving on. Upstretched stairs. Actually no, let’s do an actual stretch first.
So coming onto your knees. The spring load should be just fine. Aim to put our feet back at the shoulder blocks. And now let’s just take one foot up on the bar. It may be that you have to lower your bar.
But let’s give it a shot. Alright, we are going into a hip flexor stretch if you haven’t noticed. But before we get into that too much, maybe think of going vertical, like lifting up. I think about biasing towards a pelvic tuck, or rounded back. But in fact my back isn’t rounded. It’s just the attempt.
From there, I’m just pushing my foot into the shoulder block behind me. I can move the carriage but I’m not trying to, I don’t want my whole body to go back. Just trying to push the carriage back, but keep my body where it is. And find that stretch. Then I’m back into thinking upwards, right?
(exhales) And breathing. From here, not much changes. You are going to straighten the forward leg, or go toward the direction of straight. I’m not gonna straighten mine all the way. I’m gonna get almost all the way, and do a little pike of the hips, or release of the hips, trying to maintain a flat back.
I’m already feeling my hamstring on the front leg. But if I need more and you might need more, most likely you can go ahead and go to straight, but keep your back flat. Keep your back flat, tall, think proud, all those words that keep you looking for the stretch in the hamstring. If that’s still easy, you can push the carriage further. I don’t see the point usually, ’cause I’m really trying to focus on the hamstring.
You could drop the heel underneath, though. And then come back in. Let’s do one more of those. Not quite as long this time. But once you get back in alignment where it’s not in your low back, you can push the carriage back to get more in that front lower leg, hip. (exhales) Ahh.
All right, stretch back. Straightening the forward leg. You can allow the hips to release. And then it’s tempting to draw the hip of the straight leg more forward, so I’m just gonna encourage you to draw that end back, even as you may press the heel under the bar. All right, come on in, we’ll switch sides.
Come out of it gently. Be nice to yourself. Other leg comes up. I’m not putting it right in the middle, I’m putting, it’s pretty much straight out of the hip. And then I’m gonna adjust so I can get my foot up against that shoulder rest. And here we go, we’re upright, we’re biasing towards the attempt to basically bring the pubic bone more toward the sternum.
And then if you need more stretch, that’s where you would press back on the carriage a little bit. (exhales) Settling in. Settling in. Right. Here it comes. Start to push with that forward leg, or the up leg, and then square off the hips before you get really flat, or really straight.
And decide again, for me, not for me, for you, it’d be better to keep the knee straight, or sorry, bent, and your back straight than to go to a straight leg and round it back, you’ll just be hanging out waiting for me to finish. So find that hamstring. And then bring it back in. Ooh, that one got me shaking. And lift.
Even here trying for square hips. Not always easy if you don’t have long legs, but, which I don’t. Push out. Look for the flat back. Wide collarbones. And then the straight leg. Yeah, it’s kind of nice. Kinda hard, kinda nice.
All right, come on back in. And we are going to grab the short box. Just do a few here. Go ahead and place it on. I place it in front, you can place it over the headrest, and do it, if you know short box series, I’m not doing the whole thing, but I am gonna focus on something.
So that is why I have it like this. You may want a few extra springs just to hold your carriage. We don’t need the foot bar now, so you can take that down. And then climb aboard. I’m sitting near the front edge on purpose because I wanna focus a little more on the back body, or really just to say the hamstrings.
It helps me connect a little more with the front of my body, which is gonna be the point of this next one. So arm over arm in the forearm, pressing one into the other, just so you have that sense of I could lift up out of them. From here, it’s a simple exhale, roll those hips back, very much like how we started, right? You roll back, now right here is where I start pressing the hamstrings, or the back of the legs into the box just a bit. Then inhale, start exhaling, keep that sense of pressing into the box, stay curved.
When you get over your shoulders, you can sit up and let the arms come down. Right back up, inhale, lift the arms up, and start exhaling to roll back. Back. Use those hamstrings, makes it so much easier. Inhale, and it’s not cheating. Exhale. Stay curved.
And sit up, allowing the arms just to come down a little. Inhale, they float right back up. Exhale, taking it back. Taking it back, now when you do this hamstring situation, you can actually go even further if you want. I’m not going to today, but you could. Exhale, coming forward, and up.
Just switch the cross or the other hand is on top now. Exhale, roll back, rolling back. I kind of keep my eyes on the horizon here rather than the temptation to look at the belly. Exhale, come forward, and then up. (exhales) Those are the hamstrings, don’t you just feel like you could do anything?
Inhale, exhale, keep ’em there as long as you can, and then they can release. Last one like this. (exhales) Nice curve, nice curve. Inhale. And exhale forward to come up. Taking your hands behind your head, just lacing them together, kind of at the occipital ridge, so you can actually almost lift yourself taller.
For this one, I’m gonna suggest a subtle pelvic tuck as a start. Not to move you but just to stabilize you. So I’m not just right up on my tailbone, I’m ever so slightly behind it. And here we go. Straight back, hinge back. Lower those hamstrings, same deal. Exhale, come back up.
Inhale back. And up. Again, think taller each time. You can think about those hamstrings right at the start. (exhales) And three.
Cool. This one, let’s go, just lacing the thumb. And if you can, straight arms up, right by your side. And so we’re just gonna be tilting to the side. This one’s tricky to get, I think. Same setup so you’re not just leaning forward onto the sits bones, but kinda slightly behind them.
And then it’s as if you’re sliding your fingers across the ceiling and at the last minute add a little arc. And come back up. Other sides. So it’s a bit of a lean first, keeping the hips down. And then you can add the arc.
And again, I’ll change it very subtly. Start that lean. When you do the arc there you can angle forward a little. It’s not very big. Not a big change at all actually, but angle.
And now you can slightly arc forward. Or you could even start that sliding on an angle, but it’s so small. It just allows you to stay connected and add a little bit more of the arc. Give you two more of those. One to each side.
Hamstrings are sort of heavily weighted. Not much they can do in this one, unfortunately. And back to center. Okay. Let’s turn the box to the long box position. And I’m taking it down to one heavy spring.
For some of you, you might want one and a half. Some two, depending on your reformer. On the Gratz or one with the four springs, probably two is gonna be where you’re used to, but not always one. It’s also common. Okay. That one.
I am taking it to one. And we’re lying face down towards the pegs or the straps. Chest at the edge or just over. This is pulling straps one and two. I take hold of the tape higher up.
And then I’m even gonna wrap. Not so I’m pinching my hands, but just so I have something a little more stable to hold onto the palm of my hand. All right, you know the deal with the collarbones, they’re already wide, so you can have a little resistance on the spring to start, and then we pull straight down and back, all the way back ’til the arms are right by your thighs, the palms are still facing each other. Then you reach down to go forward, just to the starting position, not to a total release. Pulling down and back.
As if your upper arms started this, not your hands, and forward. For now, I’m staying basically flat. I’m ever so slightly lifted in my upper back, but I’m not rising, and lowering. And again. For, let’s say three, if you want to, you can add a rise of the chest.
It’s not huge, but it’s the idea that you’re looking through the frame. Your chest is basically still down, but your upper back gets a little bit more work. Two more. So you’ll come back down in between. (exhales) Hold it, get those arms straight. So often I think mine are and they’re not.
So even if you think I’m just saying it to say it, check. Like, really lock out, see what you got, and bring it back. Right on. Unwrap the hands, but still holding a bit high. I’m backing up barely but some. Taking my arms up to a T.
I actually just caught what I’m doing. I got my feet on the foot bar ’cause it helps me get in position or at least close, then I hop off. Okay, now the feet are up in the air. Straight off the box, pull straight back, and back to the T. Do your best to keep the palms facing the floor the whole time on this one.
(exhales) La, la. Does this one ever get easier? No. Never, it seems. But we can do one more. We can do one more of anything. All the way, all the way.
And bring it home. You may re-peg those. Hop off the box. Put it away. Very close. Okay, I think we got time for a few more fun ones. Let’s do some side splits today, shall we?
One spring, again about where we were. You be the judge. Stepping forward onto your foot platform or the edge of the frame. I like to just hold my hands onto the carriage ’cause it is light and it’s been a while since I’ve done it. So we’re gonna step up and walk the foot out to the shoulder block.
Before you roll up, check it out, like, you want your feet pretty aligned. Back off a little there today. And then hold in that carriage there, can you roll up? Woo-hoo, inner thighs, baby! Arms out, and we’re just taking the feet apart. Be nice. No changes to the pelvis if you can help it.
And then both inner thighs bring it back, and hold. Number two, let’s do five. (exhales) Commit, hold it, hold it, hold it, inhale. You can go as low as you want but just, you know, there does come a point where it’s not needed. Two to go.
Well that went by fast. That’s right. We have the other side, still. Bring it in, commit to it. Bend the leg that’s on the firm ground, and then step off to the back. No problem, walk around, let’s do it again.
So again, I’m stepping forward ’cause I’m gonna use that forward shoulder block. You could do it back here too, it’s up to you. All right. With as much grace as we can, we place that foot, we hold it, we roll up. Do your best to check that you’re not swiveled to one side or the other.
Off we go. I should have said that I am kind of, not… What’s that, sickling my foot, I am kind of acting like I’m scooping up the earth, or the carriage to bring it back home. I believe we’re already on four, aren’t we? You can hang out in the position a little longer, one more.
In. Bend the standing leg that’s on the firm ground. Step off the back. And from here, we’re just gonna stand to do one more side bend. Take your arms up. And from here, side bend to one side.
Getting all, go ahead and hold that top wrist. Reach it, you’re firmly in the ground. Help yourself up, and switch. Take it over. Other arm, hold onto it. Stretch. Stretch and pull yourself, doesn’t have to go down, but you can just feel the side of your body.
Come up, walk your feet together. We’ll end just as we started, with that roll down. Should still be a light spring, but feel free to go lighter. We’re just ending, taking inventory again. Did we do what we came to do? Inhale.
Exhale, round, let your hands go to that carriage. Inhale, lengthen it out. Exhale, scoop, and doesn’t it feel a little bit more supple? Going again. Nice and long, if you’re breathing heavy, get it back.
Calm yourself down. Start thinking about what you want to do next. Because you already took this time for yourself and your practice. I’m gonna do this last one coming up, pressing out. Big inhale, find some room, shrug your shoulders, whatever feels good.
And then help yourself back in. When the carriage is stopped, you can roll yourself up. Shake out whenever you need to. Be happy you took time for yourself. I’m really happy you joined me, and I hope to see you in class again.