Complete Basic Reformer with Sonje

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Find out what it was like to work with Joseph Pilates on the Reformer from someone who knew him. Sonje Mayo shares details directly from her experience in Joe’s studio—from how to get on properly, to how to pick up the box—all the while all the while taking you through an INTENSE (and we mean that in a good way) workout that will challenge the most seasoned practitioner, not just beginners. This is a great class for anyone with experience and a strong familiarity with the basics on the Reformer. For lessons, workshop requests, teacher training, and Schroth work, visit Sonjé Mayo at

What Others Are Saying


  1. Baypilates88 7 months ago

    Hi Sonje ….I so enjoy your teaching….you are an inspiration to all…thank you!!!

  2. Vicki 10 months ago

    Thank you so much for this Class Sonje! I really enjoyed this- knees off: follow your knees with your tailbone, fabulous!!!

    • Sonje Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 7 months ago

      Sorry Vicki, I don’t know how I missed your comment.
      Thanks for watching and hopefully I can give you many more apt cues in the future.

  3. Lori Coleman-Brown
    Lori Coleman-Brown 1 year ago

    Love this class Sonje. Thank you! I also enjoyed watching these strong fabulous girls. Yay.

    • Sonje Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 1 year ago

      Thanks Lori! That is a wonderful compliment coming from someone like you.
      I am one of your most ardent admirers and I hope we get to meet one day!

  4. Joao.gsv.oliveira 1 year ago

    Hi Sonje! I loved to see how a basic workout can be so intense! Thank you for bringing us this excellent lesson!
    I have a question about stomach massage series. How should we position our pelvis? Should it be done sitting on the sitbones and in neutral position or is it between the sitbones and the sacrum (posterior tilt)? Thanks again!

    • Sonje Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 1 year ago

      You will be sitting somewhere between your sitzbones and the sacrum BUT there is NO SAG in the lower back……still think of that huge lift that you need to obtain a balanced ‘C’ curve.
      Depending on different body types, the pelvic position will vary from person to person, so everyone has to find that optimal position, with a long waist and shoulders directly over the hips
      That means that the ‘C’ curve initiates from the center spine and will cause overflow into the pelvis, but one is so lifted to avoid over ‘tucking’ and hence the sag in the lower back.
      The Stomach Massage Series takes a lifetime to perfect…..maybe that is why it is already in the Basic Level.
      Hope that helps… is really difficult to teach.

      • Joao.gsv.oliveira 1 year ago

        Thank you very much! Indeed, it was very helpful.
        I have another question for you, which I think it’s very technical. Would you mind if I send you an email?

        Thank you!

  5. Deborahstreetgross 1 year ago

    Oh my that was so fun! I getting delivery of my own personal Gratz reformer and I can hardly wait. Thank you so much .

  6. Vbauer 1 year ago

    I’m inspired! What a wonderful session! I love hearing Joe and Roman’s stories! Thank you for sharing your knowledge; it was a pleasure to watch and listen:-)

  7. Elvy Perez Zorich

    I really really love your teaching Sonjé! And so happy I got the meet you here in NJ where we shared Indian food ???? can’t wait to take a class with you!

  8. susan h lawrence
    susan h lawrence 2 years ago

    Thank you, Sonje! Such a joy to hear Joe stores and see such super teaching . Here the basics are basically good, hard work when presented with this vigor and consistency. Question: the Stork? Where and when did that name come to the system?

    • Sonje Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 2 years ago

      Thank you…. The ‘Stork’ was introduced for people with short hamstrings, like most men.
      It is the preparatory exercise for doing ”Elephant” with one leg extended in arabesque, which requires more pelvic stability.
      This workout on the video is closer to low Intermediate level.

  9. Tracy Sue Du Plessis 2 years ago

    Thank you I love your teaching, Feels like home when I hear you teach!!

    • Sonje Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 2 years ago

      With a name like that, you have to be South African! I am happy that I am reaching some of you.

  10. darien
    darien 2 years ago

    Thank you so much, Sonje. Is this the order you learned from Mr. Pilates? I have a few technical questions I’d like to ask, I’ll email them to you, if that’s alright? Can’t wait to have you on my show again!????????????

    • Sonje Mayo Author
      Sonje Mayo 2 years ago

      The order was largely created by Romana. Joe Pilates used to vary the workout on different equipment, so that he got the best out of the client.
      However Joe was very strict about how you got on and off the reformer.
      You are welcome to email me with questions.

  11. McLachlan 2 years ago

    You are an inspiration and a delight to watch and listen to, Thank You for keeping Joseph true to your heart and ours.

  12. hadrianus

    How wonderful to see you again and enjoy your teaching. Hoping you will be back again to Europe soon.

  13. ewapilates
    ewapilates 2 years ago

    p.s. its this magic about Sonje’s teaching that you just want to surrender; do whatever SHE wants you to do; never make comments, never argue – it is said and done! Love it!

  14. ewapilates
    ewapilates 2 years ago

    Sonje, dear:) how great to have you here again … Thank You:)

  15. Sonje Mayo Author
    Sonje Mayo 2 years ago

    So simple……yet so demanding!

  16. Loretta Morrison 2 years ago

    Thank you Sonje. That was wonderful. Bringing it all back to basics.

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