The first time I saw the Oov was in the exhibition hall at a PMA conference. The people who were using it seemed to enjoy it, but at that particular conference, I didn't have time to test this strange looking device for myself. Months later though, when Daniel Vladeta came to teach on Pilates Anytime, I finally had my chance.
The Oov is a tool, made out of durable foam, that allows you to find new strategies to control your movement by challenging your balance and stability. The curves of the Oov are designed to lengthen the spine and to destabilize the body; it puts the body in a position where it is never at rest. The unique shape creates space in the body and organizes the body to facilitate more movement.
The Oov is a self-regulating feedback device for you to have an experience of your own body. It turns something that can be subjective, like someone telling you what's going on in your body, to an objective experience for yourself. Something that you start to learn about your own body, you start to feel things happening in your own body rather than someone telling you what's going on.
The Oov comes in three sizes depending on your height and weight. It can be used on the Mat as well as all apparatus. From rehabilitative work to strengthening and stretching, the Oov is multi-functional and works for all fitness levels and body types.
I could immediately tell when my pelvis was out of alignment (which is a common occurrence) and, I could tell when my ribs were flaring forward (also a common issue) because I would lose my balance. I had to figure out how to correct myself without anyone telling me what to do.
When I tried the Oov on the Reformer for the first time, I noticed I had much more range of motion. When I was 14, I pulled my groin pretty badly in a jazz class. Ever since then my hips grip in certain positions when I use my full range of motion in exercises like Leg Circles. When I did Leg Circles on the Oov, I was able to make a full circle with both legs without either hip gripping. It was the first time in a long time that I was able to move that freely.
What did you feel the first time you used the Oov? Share your experience in the comments below. If you haven't tried it yet, you can always find an experienced teacher to help you or you can take one of our classes on Pilates Anytime.