I love a good fitball on the sticky mat. Mix up your yoga practice by incorporating a fun toy and experience even more benefits!
1. Boat Pose with the Ball
From a seated position, hold the ball in your hands, lean back and extend your legs straight out and spread your toes. Do you best to keep your lower back engaged so that you’re rolling toward the front of your sitting bones rather than the rear of your sitting bones. Elongate your legs so your quads stay toned but not stressed. The weight of the ball increases the load on your abdominals, making this great for the core. Breathe here for 3 full deep breaths and then relax down. Repeat 3-5 times to tone the core and increase your breath capacity.
2. Handstand on the Ball
Start by laying your belly down on the ball. Walk your hands forward until just your feet are on the ball. Plant your hands firmly on the floor shoulder width apart and with straight arms, engage your abdominals, pump your chest forward toward the ball, and lift your hips straight up and back over your shoulders. Go to your tippy toes on the ball to help shift the hips over your shoulders. Breathe here for 3 deep full breaths and then release by stretching your legs back out. This pose fires up you core, gets you upside down, opens your chest, and invigorates your whole body!
3. Backbend on the Ball
Begin by sitting on the ball and slowly lean back and let the ball support your back while keeping your feet grounded. When you feel the ball is in a supportive spot for your back, lift your arms overhead to increase the stretch and get some traction in your spine. Breathe here for 3-10 deep full breaths. To come out, bend your knees and sit up. This pose is a perfect chest opener for counteracting all those hours hunched over at the computer.
4. Legs up the Ball Pose
Hold the ball as you lay down on your back. Bend your knees up and rest your calves on the top of the ball. Make sure the ball is nice and close to your butt. Stretch your arms out at your sides at a 45 degree angle with the palms face up. Close your eyes and rest here for 5-15 minutes, being mindful of your breath. This is a great restorative pose when you need to get grounded, rejuvenate after a stressful day, or help to calm the nervous system.
We would love to hear what some of your favorite fit ball exercises are! Please share below and let’s all get the ball rollin’!
Photo Credit: Taro Smith