Today we're going to play with this squishy blue ball and our imagination. Ready? Okay. So what I would like you to do is sit in a cross-legged position or a comfortable position and just take the ball lightly in your hands, now my eyes are closed, you can choose close your eyes as well if you wanted to. Or you can keep them open, but let's keep them soft.
And just imagine if you will, that the ball is light. So we're going to change the weight of the ball a little bit right now. So for now, I just want you to keep that ball really lightly in your hands and send it forward. And as you send your arms and ball forward, feel yourself pulling in relationship backwards through the abdominals and feel the stabilization of the trunk as the arms are reaching, and then lighten the spine as the arms come back. And let's do that again.
So pull the abdominals back, stabilizing the spine, send the arms in, and it doesn't look like anything. It just looks like what you're doing, so I don't know what that is, but just sending the arms forward and feeling what that feels like to you. So for me I get quite a lot of sensation around my, being real solid in my trunk as my arms are really lightly reaching out, so creating opposition. And come back and then open your eyes if they're closed and take the arms overhead, bending the elbows if you need to to make space for your shoulders. Gonna take the ball into the right hand, and then we're gonna take the left arm down and I want you to take your body to the left.
And now I want you to imagine the ball's heavy, it's weighted, it's pulling you. And then come back up, left arm comes up, right arm comes down. Reach out, lift the ribs on that side of the body, I'm not pushing down into my arm, I'm just allowing my elbow to bend so that I've got room to move. And then real easy on the way up. Let's change the cross of the legs.
Switch arms again. Inhale, lift up, heavy ball. Elbow softens. Exhale, take the ball out in front of you. Start to bring that left arm around with you.
Exchange hands as the ball's out in front of you. Come around to the right side, leaning into your stretch. And then come up. Ball's in the right hand for this, so we're going to go over to the right, though is it? Gonna reach around, ball changes hands, oh yeah, I did it right, I wasn't sure for a minute, and then we're going to come up, side stretch, and lift up through the spine.
Then, if you're facing me, turn onto your mat. If you're not long-ways on your mat, make yourself long-ways on your mat and place your ball not right at the base of your spine, kind of underneath where the ribs are. So basically what I want us to have is a little bit of space in that lumbar spine. And just feel what it feels like to sit on the ball, and just rest there. And then we're not going to do that.
So we're going to take our hands in front of you, and what we're gonna do is from that resting position we're going to lighten up on it like you're trying to allow the ball to support you, but you're not putting a lot of weight on it. Push into your feet and tuck your tail and try to round your lower spine and then inhale, let that spine unwind. Exhale as you round your lower spine. So it doesn't look like much, but hopefully will feel like something. So we're sliding the pelvis, almost like we're trying to flatten the sacrum.
I don't know if that's a reality, but that's the vision and the direction that we're moving. We're going to do two more. So we (exhales), squish the ball by rolling the spine, maybe I don't want that. Let's try staying light on the ball. As we try to rotate the spine, I like that more.
And then unwind one more time. Go into that rounded place, pause there, as you inhale, take the arm that closest to me and reach open. The other arm is going to reach out in front of you. Exhale, light on the ball as we come back. Pretty significant oblique work.
Inhale, reach open, looking at the back arm, exhale, come back. Inhale, reach open so that front arm is reaching in front of you almost like someone is trying to lift you off the ball or something, and exhale to come back. And inhale open, we spiral in through the trunk, and exhale to come back. One more time. Open, and exhale to come back.
Last one to the back. Open, and exhale to come back and then press into the ball. Roll up, take the ball in your hands. Open up your knees, just send the ball out in front of you, you can roll it, we're just taking a stretch there. And we're gonna come back up, we're gonna reorient the knees so that they're together and change the place where the ball is.
So instead of the lower back, now I want it to go more towards the upper back, a little lower than the shoulder blades. So essentially what we're wanting to do is be able to take some extension. So looking at your pelvis, find a neutral alignment in your pelvis. Head heavy in the arms, we're going to inhale taking the upper spine over the top of the ball. And then exhale light on the ball press the ribs into the ball so you're curling your upper spine without adjusting your pelvis at all.
And then inhale as you stretch over the top, and exhale as you curl back through. So allowing the ball to support the extension of the spine feels so good to go backwards, to me. And then curl. And then inhale, stretch back, stay supported. Feel that your abdominals are working, but that you're stretching them into that contraction.
And then lift up. And you're just going to go two more times. Inhaling back, and exhaling up. (exhales) And inhaling back, and exhaling up. So now what I'd like us to do is we're gonna stay here, we're gonna rotate, so as you rotate to your left feel almost as if you could roll the ball to the right.
Come to center. Rotate to the right, fell as though you could roll the ball to the left. And then center. So it's a sensation more than anything, you don't really want to roll the ball out from underneath you, but if you can visualize the movement of the ball perhaps it will allow the movement in the torso to be more fluid or you'll get more range or just ideas, at least it will support you in that range of motion. One more time to each side.
Center, over to the other side. And center and let's go back one more time in the middle. And then left and center, pause there, turn again to one side, I'm going left, so we're gonna go over the top of the ball there, inhale, and exhale, and lift into your flexion. Inhale, over the top of the ball, exhale, lift into your flexion. One more time, inhale, and lift into your flexion, come through the center, go over to the opposite side, that bottom rib sliding toward the spine.
We're going over the top, in rotation, so we've got a little extension with rotation. Inhale, and exhale, and inhale, and exhale. So now come through center. We're going to go back to the first side. We're going to add some hip flexion to that, so it's spinal extension with rotation.
Exhale, lift, and then float that leg that's close, keep the pelvis still. Inhale, leg goes down, body goes down. Exhale, body lifts, and then as we're coming up into that flexion, the leg lifts and really push the chest and the thigh together. And then down and go back one more. Lift up, lift the thigh, find center, and stretch back.
Inhale, exhale up, rotate in the opposite direction, hold, take the body over the top, lift and then float that leg, the leg that's close to your rotated side, and down, and the body goes back. Life and twist, float the leg, take it back down, and go over the top. Last time, pretty intense. Can be pretty intense. And float, and back down and then center and then just take it all the way back down, maybe reach the arms, let the pelvis move as necessary.
Prop yourself onto one arm and take the ball away. Okay, so let's take the ball and put it underneath our feet. We're going to keep the legs together for this. So, expect a little wobble, that might happen. So arms down to our sides, we're gonna start peeling the body up.
I want you to push down on to the ball roll up inhale and then exhale, start letting the spine come down, so rounding, flexing, stretching out long through the spine. Drop the tail, take a breath, exhale, curl and lift. Arms are heavy, head is heavy, hips lift up high. Legs pressed together. Inhale, and rounding down.
Really get that nice, deep spinal flexion there. We'll do just a couple more like that. Exhale, roll up, say two more. Roll up, and inhale, and roll down. Okay, last time.
Gonna roll up in stay up, holding there, I want you to see if you can push the ball away a little bit and then bring it back underneath, it's not going to move a lot. Push it away a little bit, you'll feel your hamstrings, I think I feel mine. Pull it back, two more. Push away, pull it back, one more. Push away, pull it back, inhale and round all the way down.
Organize so that the ball is under the right leg. Arms going to reach over head, just resting on the mat. Lift the head and chest up, gonna pull the ball into the body, we round the spine and then push the ball away as we lower down. Lift the head and chest, roll the ball to you, And then roll the ball away. And then roll the ball to you, it's a spinal flexion/hip flexion simultaneously.
Roll the ball away. Last two. Curling and lifting. And back. One more.
Curling and lifting. Stay here, reach down for that ankle, stretch that leg, lift the spine, flex the foot, and point. And flex the foot, and point. One more time, flex the foot, and point, and then start to roll yourself back, walking down the leg or bringing the leg with you. Find your hamstring, stretch and then bend.
I'm gonna scoot back a little bit because I feel like I'm gonna roll my ball all the way off the mat. Okay, so we switch legs. Arms come over head, inhale, lift the head and chest. Exhale roll the ball in. Deepening, deepening, feel the spinal extension as well as the abdominals.
We've got a long curvature in the back and then reach out and back. And lift, and curl, and press back lowering down, three more times. Life up, curl, push down on the ball as you go away so it's light on energy on the up, like easy ball pulling energy on the way up, heavy hip extension, push the ball away on the way down. Here our last time. So up, curl, reach for the ankle, lift the leg, lift the spine, starting to roll back so we just bring the leg with us, working with control, other leg is pressing down along the mat.
Take yourself down into your stretch, and then bend. Take both legs onto the ball. Arms reach overhead so both legs at the same time. Lift head, chest. Curl knees into the body.
Push the ball away. Can we do that evenly? Like for me, what is really tricky to feel is that I can pull with both legs evenly and keep my pelvis really steady. Maybe you guys are better than me at that, but that's my challenge here. And head and chest.
And curl, and reach out and back. Just two more. Head and chest. And curl, and reach out, spinal mobilization. And last time curl, take it from here, reach the arms behind you, stretch the legs out straight, pressing up with your arms, pressing down with your legs, we inhale, we reach into the ball and lift.
It might feel like you're trying to roll the ball up towards the knees a little bit. And then as you sit back down you pull underneath yourself so the ball rolls back. Press down and reach out. Sending the legs out and forward, abdominals pull in. And then sitting back down.
We'll do two more. Reach and lift up. And down. And lift up. And down.
So take your feet off the ball, reach for it with your hands. Mine seems to be deflating as I'm moving, which is fine, but real. So taking the arms out in front of us, I want us to just open. So you're going to take the arm closest to me and hold the ball in that hand. Now we have an easy, light ball.
The ball pulled less. So we reach, we rotate, the other arm reaches forward and how come back to center. Switch arms. Exhale, open, ball pushes or lightens. Open twist inhale, center.
Exhale, open. And center. And change, open. Oh yeah, if you look back at the ball, like as you're going, let the ball take you look back at it you'll go further. I think it's happening for me.
And then over to the other side. Go back, look back, and center. And just one more to each side. Open, reach, lift, and center. And open, reach, lift, and center, changing the exercise or changing the choreography.
We're gonna to go open, we're going to take the ball overhead, the free arm comes down, we stretch to that side of the body. Lift back up, come to the center. Take the ball, open, the other arm comes to the floor, reach the ball overhead, over to the side, lift up, and home. Again, open. Reach across towards the opposite side of the body, feels pretty nice.
Up and center, and open and up, and over and up and separate the legs. Take the ball out front, inhale. As we exhale we're going to keep the ball in the hands. If your shoulders feel stiff or tight let your elbows bend a little bit, but we're gonna round down. We're gonna take the ball down towards the floor.
Let it rest on the floor and pull. Use it, pull your back out straight. And then lift your arms up, feel the energy in your body reaching out towards your lifted arms. Sit up, take the arms back forward, inhale. Exhale, roll the spine forward, send the ball down towards the floor maybe stretch it long, press down onto the ball to get longer through the spine, then float it up in the navel to the spine, concentrate on supporting the spine from the front of the body.
Sit all the way up and arms down, and exhale. Roll down, lengthen the back. Arms reach out, lift up, and arms down, last two. Roll down, press down, lift up. Float the arms, reach the spine through the arms to the ball like a ball of energy, pulling you out, lifting you up, and last one.
We're gonna roll down, reach out, lift up, and then just bring the ball down the front of the body and turn and lay onto your side. So I want us to just stretch out long and then place the ball just right in front of the ribs. We're just gonna let the hand rest on it or press down on it, really. So, aligning the knees so that they both face straight ahead, aligning the head on the arm so that the legs reach out, they stretch out. Gonna lift both legs off the floor and as you do that I want you to push down on the ball and lift the undercarriage of your body and then lower.
Stretch the legs out, lift up, push down on the ball to lift the undercarriage of the body and then down. And then press, lift, and down. Two more. Press down, undercarriage the body lifts, legs lift, last time press down let's hold it up. Take the top leg a little higher and just lift the bottom leg up, and up, and up, and two, and one, and now split the legs.
And scissor. Pull, pull, center, switch. Pull, pull. Aim your legs as just a little bit wider than the mat, just a little wider than the mat. And use the ball to help you stabilize, find your balance, but it's a little bit trickier than just having your hand there, 'cause it moves a little.
Last two. And two, and one, and one. Go back to back leg, back bottom leg forward and lower the bottom like to the floor. Take the ball in the front with the same hand and stretch it away from you as you let the back leg reach away in the opposite direction. And then bend the bottom knee.
Take the ball into the arm so that it's just over the shoulder for now. Take the leg out in front of you so and then drop the arm forward so it's just level with your shoulder. You're gonna take the arm up and the leg up, arm down to the thigh, leg back. Arm forward, leg up, arm back, leg back. And three.
Imagine that the leg is somehow attached to the ball in just that nice easy movement of the ball over head helps you to bring your leg with you, too. And one. Now hold the arm overhead, lower and lift the leg. Five, four, three, two, one. Lift the leg up and back, place the ball down, come from there up onto your forearm so you've got one hand on the ball and one arm on the mat.
And then we're going to take that leg up and back. I want you to push down on the ball to lift your leg. Push down on the ball to send the spine forward and lift the leg. Last two. And one more.
And then we're gonna bend that knee, we're gonna sit up. Going into the Mermaid, this is a nice version of the Mermaid, I think, so the arm is going to stay on the same side. The same leg that was just moving? That arm is holding the ball. So from there we're going to reach out, let that free arm come down.
As you exhale, take the ball around. Once it comes to the floor, push it away from you. The other arm can bend so you go into a little bit more rotation. Straighten the arm that's bending, come back open back up, and then lift back up, the ball comes down, and we push it away, let it roll away so we find our side stretch. Come back up from there, arm comes down.
And lift. Inhale, reach up to go over hand comes down. Exhale, spiral, the ribs turn. The ball comes to the mat. Then as you push it away from you, you may want to bend the arm that's supporting you so you can get in a nice, deep rotation.
And then start to push that arm back up, open back out to the side, lift up, let the ball come down, reach over, big stretch there, and then all the way up. Lift one more time. Over, arm soft, rotate, and then push away. And then come back, and unwind, and lift up, and reach over, and then what happens if you don't push so much, can you just fall into your stretch? I don't know the answer; it worked for me.
And then just over to the other side. So lying down on your other side. Lining the body the ball can come just in front of the ribs. I put my whole palm on it. So we're gonna push down with the arm, and not so much the hand, but think about the elbow reaching down towards the feet, the arm lightly pushing down, the undercarriage of the body lifts, and then go down.
We did relatively small repetitions of these, so down and lift, and down, press, reach away, so you're just using the ball to create more muscular awareness. Can we feel how the arm is connected to the sides, is connected to the legs? Yeah, everything's connected, what do you know? Last time, push down, reach out, holding there we're going to lift that top leg a little higher, we're gonna go bottom leg up, and undercarriage of the body up, and three, ooh, check with your shoulders, two, and one, and then the bottom leg is going to go forward, the top leg goes back, stabilize and pull, pull, center. Pull, pull, center.
You might notice when the bottom leg goes behind you, it's a little trickier to stay upright, you might need your arm a little more. Last two, navel to spine, stability in the trunk. Last time. And then in the center take the top leg to the back again. Bottom leg goes down.
Just take that ball and reach it out in space, it's pulling away, it's pulling away, the leg is pulling in the opposite direction. So enjoy that stretch. And then bend the bottom knee, take that arm for now just above the shoulder so you can you can find your tracking. The other leg is out straight. We're going to bring that arm so it's just level to the shoulder joint.
And we're gonna take the ball overhead, remember that the ball is pulling that leg in space. Then we push back. And we inhale, reach forward. And exhale, push back. So we're creating some force, or creating some moving energy.
We're moving against tension, we're moving against heaviness. And one more pull, and back. I was just going to say something different but I changed my mind, it would be confusing for me. So we go overhead and just go down and up. Feel the hip pull down relative to the overhead arm.
last two. One more, and then take the leg back, take the ball back towards the body, push onto it, lift up onto the form. Take the leg behind you and up so all that on the ball is what's pushing down and helps us lift the spine and then that back leg goes up and back. Up and back, so reaching around to the back. Last two.
Arm presses down to lift the leg, that's it. Bend the bottom knee, come up and then the ball stays in that same hand. We find our Mermaid shape. Lift both arms up inhale as we reach over to the side that arm comes down and slides. Exhale, turn from the ribs, let the ball come to the mat.
And then you can bend the supporting arm and push that ball away from you, get into a nice, juicy, rotational stretch. Come back, unwind, lift up. Place the ball down. Free arm comes up and it comes with us as we just reach over. And then lift up and reach over, arm comes down, exhale.
Spiral. Ball comes down, let the arm bend so that you can push and just make this feel good to you. Maybe it feels good to lean into it differently each time. Maybe it feels good to push the ball over that opposite arm. Maybe you have something totally different that would feel even better that you could certainly do if you want.
And then here we go, the last time out. Over, soft landing, easy rotation, yummy stretch, come back, unwind, lift up, reach over. Enjoy. Come up. Turn onto the front of your body.
What I want us to do, and depending on the size of your ball, and the amount that it's blown up, it's going to be different for us all, but hopefully you've got a little squishy in your ball and it's not too big 'cause I want us to put it right underneath the neck, not in a choking way but more right on the breastbone, and then I want us to just rest on it. So what I'd like for you to keep in mind here is that because of where we've just put the ball our back is already in extension, so we don't have to make our extension much bigger. What I want us to do is just find some support around that. So, very gently, let the shoulder blades draw down the back, so it feel as your collar bones are moving up and backwards and then create a little dragging action, super light, with the forearms, so it feels like you could lift just lightly off the ball. Not higher but more forward so it feels as though maybe the ball will roll forward.
And then just come back down onto that. So again, it's not a super significant action, muscularly significant, true, visually significant, probably not. So strong legs lifiting the abdominals, slide the scapula down. The ball moves forward in relationship to the backward gliding of the scapula and we just lighten on it. We're still touching it, we're not coming off at all, and then come back down.
We'll just do that a few more times. So allowing the ball to support that upper thoracic extension, I don't want you to feel anything in your lower back at all. Just bringing awareness to the upper spine, upper back, and then releasing back down. And just two more. Reaching out, lifting up, easy in our bodies.
And down. One more time, reaching out, lifting up, and then come all the way back down. Now put your weight on your forearms, sit up off the ball. Sit back onto your feet and reach the ball towards where your hands will be reaching, we'll use it again in a minute. But just sit back towards your heels.
And then roll up through your spine. Let's take the left arm a little bit more to the center of the mat, and the right arm is going to go on the ball. Then we're gonna sit back, I just want you to take your, you can organize how you need to, the left arm I need to come in more, gnow roll the right side of the spine open. You can just let your left ear reach onto your left shoulder, your left upper arm. So we're just getting a nice stretch in the waist.
Come back up. Switch arms. So remember the arm that's gonna stay down has to come a little more towards the middle, and then sit back and then allow the ball to roll around to the other side. Roll around to the other side. And then come back.
And then just allow both arms to separate and sit back towards your feet. And then come up onto your hands and knees, Keeping the arm closest to me on the mat, take the opposite arm up and thread it underneath you and let the arm that you're still resting on bend so that you can lay yourself down on the outside of that shoulder. Now that arm that's still on the mat can push and you can get a nice spinal twist there. And then put weight on that arm, press on the other side. We go under, we lay down on the back of the arm, head just rests down on the mat.
We can press and get a little bit more rotation. Then push up, arms down, roll through your spine, come back to sit on your feet. Take the arms up, lift the chest as your arms open out to the sides. And just do that one more time. Reach the arms up.
Lift the chest as your arms open and fall to the sides. Slow. And then coming back down. And that is that. Hope you liked the class.