single leg stretch
double le stretch
single straight leg stretch
double straight leg strech
All springs (4) on for foot work, I am used to less resistance and my shoulders are pressing hard up against the shoulder rests.
Same with the hundreds, 4 springs, quite heavy.
And running and bottom lift.
Short spine has become something quite different. Since my hamstrings are rather flexible, I don't get to leave my feet up, and get that nice long placing down of the spine with the stretch of the spine and the legs. Instead I keep knees folded in and working the back of the legs and belly, this spine stretch is hidden behind an intense ham and belly exercise.
All this is GREAT!!!
I am feeling that I am really getting a super workout, I have certainly been trough far too many sessions taught in a rehab style. Nothing wrong with that, if that is what you need of course. Like I said before I love all the Pilates I have had (well not all perhaps), but most variations holds it's own special focuses that is good or great at times. This has a alot to do with the instructor, where they trained and their own experiences and ability to modify and communicate.
Also, since we give different focuses and variations to clients depending on what they need, that is probably how Joe Pilates came to be differently percieved to the today Master Teachers (Elders) that was trained by him. They all had various problems and reasons why they needed to go to Joe's studio, and Joe and Clara would naturally modify and specify accordingly. Having personally taken Pilates from Ron Fletcher and Mary Bowen first hand, I can tell the difference easily. And the Romana Pilates I get second hand at my new favorite studio (Golden Gate Pilates) is Pilates the Romana way, not the Joseph Pilates way, not more than any other Elder, I believe.
I happen to really like Pilates the Romana way, like so many others. New York is basically all Romana Pilates, while here on the west coast we get all kinds. I recommend you to go and try it all.
I took a "Pilates" class in Mexico last week, when we were on spring break in Puerto Vallarta. The hotel, The Marriott Casamagna, offers a spa with a small gym and some group classes. twice a week they have a Pilates class. Of course I had to try it.
I was hoping it would be great, and I missed my classes in San Francisco, I really wanted the Pilates to be "real". I was soo disapointed to realize this was not Pilates at all. I suspect the instructor hadn't actually taken a course, the 4! pilates exercises she did, during this 1 hour class, were all done in a very "different" way (like she had read one (bad) book maybe). AND no 100's, in my opinion there is no Pilates matclass without the 100s.
No extension (but one cat stretch at the end of the class) or twisting, just all flexion stuff, lots of yoga type excersises and stretches. Seems like she was making it up as she went, there was absolutely no flow.
It makes me mad actually.
Anyway, I am off to my reliable mat class at Simply Balanced studio in half an hour. It is always good and I love that the instructor is incredible knowledgable, she is great, Susan Powers. If you can, I really recommend that you try her class.
Lie on your back with your legs together and lifted in a bent position. Exhale and pull your belly button to the floor, try to keep it there throughout the exercise and try to pull it down even more with every exhalation. Lay your arms straight above your head on the floor, without letting your ribcage push up. Feel your tail bone heavy to the floor without pushing it down, and don’t arch.
Photo Credit: Janne Danielsson
Inhale into your back and float your arms, head and shoulders up, to the hundreds position. Feel like you are folded at your bra strap (men, please imagine wearing a bra). Actually, the picture of me, demonstrating the postition, is not showing the form as good as it could be, but I try.
Exhale and start pumping your straight arms up about 5 inches and down, pumping from your “back” (reach shoulders away from ears and shoulder blades down towards your low back. Inhale through 5 arm pumps and exhale through 5, pulling the belly button in more for each exhale. Breathe percussively (5 inhalation sniffs, 5 exhalations). Pump until you have reached 100 pumps. Advance by straightening the legs, and lean them out on a diagonal.
Keep your body up in the position with your torso muscles. Since you are up there, watch your belly engage, scooping, throughout the exercise.
Don’t drop the head back. To avoid this pretend you have to hold an apple with you chin against your chest. If your neck hurts too much, lay your head back down on the floor, (you will get stronger and able to hold the head easily through the whole 100’s) continue to pump your arms to 100. Reach with your fingers toward the opposite wall and feel how you are lengthening and reaching, to get that oppositional pull to stay in the position throughout the whole exercise. The legs are reaching long and the belly is reaching down