Flow & Go Mat

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Niedra leads this flowing advanced mat session with a keen eye for detail. Know that you're balancing your body as you move with her alignment cues that will keep you honest! Visit Niedra at: http://spirit-moves.com/.

What Others Are Saying


  1. Niedra Gabriel Author
    Niedra Gabriel 5 years ago

    Hi there Joesmat,
    Love your desire to learn – no you are NOT naive, you are observant and curious about differences, kudos to you for actually noticing the details and questioning them. You should look into
    becoming a teacher – you are the type of person who makes a good teacher rather than a robot.
    To add to this, great observation about the difference between flexing and pointing your feet in the exercise, there are always different effect with every little change that is made in the body.
    Eventually the decision ( as a teacher ) is, not how to teach the perfect exercise, but what does this body need, what is the most appropriate version that will forward this person to wards
    the better alignment and having a functional and able and free body. Jus to share my higher purpose for teaching. I know Romana was that sort of teacher as she would often change little details about an exercise to fit the person’s needs – and that is something you won’t find in DVD’s of texts as they are giving you the fundamental skeleton of an exercise.
    Hope this is interesting for you to read .
    You are doing great with your practice I commend you on self educating yourself so thoroughly – speaks a lot about your character.
    Happy 2016.

  2. joesmat 5 years ago

    Dear Niedra:

    Thank you for your detailed reply to my enquiries.

    The Stamina Products Complete Pilates Mat Workout DVD/The Romana DVD’s/www.Classicalpilates.net DVD’s show the feet flexed, for the most part, in Spine Stretch Forward.

    A s I practice this exercise I am always reminded of the “goal” of the exercise and it is said to be a breathing exercise. However, it is established that the sacrum should remain vertical-
    90 degrees, and in order to achieve a maximum stretch with breathing, the critical connections that I feel are (1) stability achieved by feet flexed(2) Sitz bones firmly engaged through the Gluteals and into the mat, and this connectivity helps me stretch forward, and likewise, elevate as I come up and a true feeling of awareness is felt.

    Conversely, if my feet are pointed, I do not get the same feeling of connectivity/awareness and pull back into the low abdominals. It is a difference feeling and sense of bodily awareness.

    I hasten to add that in explaining my body experience with this exercise, that I do not seek to contradict an Instructor of your standing, Your explanation is very clear. I am a Home Practitioner, and learn through the medium of Pilatesology, DVD’s and books, hence my naive enquiry.

    Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    Happy New Year to you.

  3. Niedra Gabriel Author
    Niedra Gabriel 5 years ago

    Hi Joesmat, Good question! I am doing the spine stretch in the same manner that Romana used to teach it when I was training with her – spine stretch was with long feet and Saw was with flexed feet. In my training we discussed the foot position being a type of variation rather than an exact one way to be done. Toes extended meant More Quad work, toes flexed meant more hamstrings. It was up to the teacher to use the variations depending on what the client needed. Romana used to say a good teacher needs common sense in deciding what to use when and why, that there are variables that can be included in interpreting the work so it is useful to the student and develops the body in an intelligent manner.
    I hope this helps.

  4. joesmat 5 years ago

    Dear Niedra:

    I have observed in a few of your mat videos that you always ask the practitioners demonstrating to point their feet in Spine Stretch Forward.
    What, may I ask, are your Anatomical and Critical Connections reasons for doing this?
    In the Archival footage we note Mr Pilates flexed the feet on a free mat.
    Thank you.

  5. Thank you Niedra, a very good class!

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