Workshop: Intermediate Reformer Around the Studio
Who is this for?
This is for anyone just starting off on their Pilates journey.
If you’re new to Pilates, it is strongly recommended that you take the Starter’s Workshop, or have a First Lesson and take the “Starter’s” Package of lessons as these exercises build on the Starter exercises.
What we'll be doing...
In this workshop we’ll be looking at the Intermediate Reformer exercises on Reformer and on all the other apparatus around the studio.
If you’re looking for Reformer Foundations: click here
Please do take the Starter’s workshop before this one. That is because we still practice the Basic exercises at Intermediate level. If you aren’t familiar with those, you’ll feel quite lost.
Some Big Picture stuff:
These ideas help to make everything much more simple and straightforward!
1. The Mental aspect of Pilates
I like to think that there are are three elements: concentration, determination & memorisation.
You need to concentrate on your alignment and movement.
You need determination to make “further supreme mental efforts, (to) strive to better your original attempt”.
You need to memorise the order of the exercises. Pretty old fashioned, I know.
2. The Body aspect of Pilates
When you’re practising Pilates you’re not a patient, but a student. Physiotherapy and Personal Training both use increased load and number of repetitions as the measure of improvement – but not Pilates. Pilates works in a totally different way to to build strength, stretch and above all, control.
And the control part is the most important because it makes you use your mind.
2. The Spiritual aspect of Pilates
You need to practise patience, perseverance and consistency.
Be patient with yourself – a difficult task in our modern world in which quick fixes are valued over patience.
You’ll need to practise perseverance to conquer the things that you least like and find the most difficult.
Consistency is how the tortoise beats the hare. And the tortoise always wins. Inconsistency is the devil’s work!
4. You don’t need to be either strong nor mobile.
Strength and mobility are the objectives, not the prerequisites. Pilates designed his system for imperfect bodies.
5. Mat or Reformer - which is best?
Doing only Mat only or Reformer only is leaving big chunks of the pie behind.
6. On being Perfect
Pilates is not about perfection. Perfection is a self persecutory myth.
Pilates isn’t just exercise. It’s personal development. It’s learning.
7. On Patience
The "Principles of Pilates”
Breathing, Centering, Control, Precision, Flow, Concentration.
They are very good. But they didn’t come from Joe. They came from Romana Kyzanowska. Romana claimed that she dictated the contents of the book “The Pilates Method of Mental and Physical Conditioning” (1980 & 2005) the first ever detailed Pilates manual.
The authors credited were Philip Friedman (an author and journalist) & Gail Eisen’s (a television news producer).
If you think about it, good as they are, they aren’t special to Pilates: being a nurse, driving, playing football, handwriting, all require these “principles”
On the Intermediate Reformer Order
- The Starter exercises are still practised, but the order changes.
- Inversions (going upside down onto shoulders), Spinal Extension, Side Bending and Rotation in movement all start at intermediate.
- Flow: think Starters: 50% precision & 50% flow. Intermediate 30% precision & 70% flow.
- The focus is still on the centre and lower powerhouse (pelvic girdle), but there’s more upper powerhouse (shoulder girdle) work now – all radiating from the centre.
- The idea of “midline” and “powerhouse” is introduced.
The Intermediate Reformer Exercise List
The full workshop contents aren’t listed here so that they don’t get copied and used without permission
We will be looking at these exercises listed on Reformer and other apparatus around the studio.
The Exercises from the Basic Repertoire are listed in their places to maintain the order. And there are some advanced exercises included here as a stepping stone to the real advanced work.
Footwork – Starters
Footwork Tendon Stretch – Starters
One Hundred – Starters
Short Spine Massage
Long Box Swan
Long Box: Pulling Straps & T Pull
Long Box: Backstroke
Long Box: Backstroke Transition
Long Box: Teaser & Teaser with Arm Circles…
Long Stretches: Long Stretch
Long Stretches: Down Stretch
Long Stretches: Up Stretch
Long Stretches: Long Back Stretch
Long Stretches: One Legged Elephant variation
Stomach Massage: Twist
Seated Tendon Stretch – Stomach Massage Ending
Knees Stretches Round Back & Flat Back – Starters
Running – Starters
Pelvic Lift – Starters
Front Splits – Starters
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