Class #4245

Small Ball of Fun

55 min - Class
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Kristi Cooper leads you through this grounding Mat class using the Overball. The ball will provide information for your body so that you can execute traditional exercises with a deeper connection and understanding. If you don't have a ball, a small couch pillow can work as a substitute. Go deep and enjoy!
What You'll Need: Mat, Overball

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Hi everyone, welcome. Welcome to garage sessions. I did not update my garage, I decided to get out of it. Everyone needs a change of scenery I think, especially when you're at home so much in these days. Today we're gonna have fun with the small ball.

If you don't have a small ball you can, of course, use a pillow, it's gotta be sort of firm, not too big, so I think of like a, I don't even know what to call 'em, not a big couch pillow but the ones you put on the ends. That'll help, okay, so try for that if you don't have a ball. Most of this you can do without it. The reason I'm using the ball is because the contact with it gives me so much information about the exercises I already do and I already know. So there's, it's gonna be a mid-level class.

And thanks for being here, let's get going. If you have your ball, for now just put it, actually put it between your ankles. Look at that, I just made that up. (sighs) I need to do a deep breathe without cuing anything. So that's what I'm gonna do so I can be more present with you and I hope you'll do the same. Letting go of whatever you might need to.

So just do that. (laughs) Just take your deep breath. (inhales) (exhales) Hey! I'm back. All right, so your parallel feet. Standing tall, I have the ball at the ankles and I'm just lightly engaged with it. So just to get that sense of midline that sense of okay, there's the front of my body, the back of my body, but there's also this midline, whatever you wanna call it, but this sense of gently squeezing into the ball and even imagining drawing the ball up the legs, imagining it it can kinda almost automatically put me in an upright position where I'm feeling my abdominals a little bit and I'm not gonna cue all of the alignment, but try to think straight up, crown of the head to the top, evenly weighted on your feet, we'll do a roll down. I'm just gonna turn, actually I don't need to turn.

Inhale and just exhale and solidify that energy into the ball. You can kinda squeeze it hard but we're not trying to change the feet. It's just awareness there. That's a lot about what the ball is gonna be about today. Inhale. (inhales) And exhale. (exhales) I'm gonna take my arms up this time, just out wherever, reach up, enjoy it.

Find what you're gonna work with today. Decide how you wanna feel at the end now. It's totally up to you, truly. And let go, do it again, inhale. (inhales) Reach, reach, reach, reach, reach. Oh and exhale, that's amazing what one good breath will do.

Inhale. Did I say I was happy that your here? I am. And exhale, okay, one more. From here, before we do that roll down I just want you to let your arms hang heavy like the bones are heavy, the skin is heavy, however, your just there. And you're gonna rise up on your toes with that ball. Don't lose the ball.

And down. Again. You know you might wobble, that's cool. Who wouldn't? And up, I'm just goin' up and down, kinda slow. I'm just checking out where I am.

I always talk about, be your own teacher. And I think the most effective way of doing that is checking in with yourself at the beginning. Especially related to your intention at the end. Or throughout. We're gonna do a couple more.

Finding my ground. It's the first sunny day here in a long time, I'm in California and there's not even smoke this morning. I'm excited. (laughs) Up we go. And down. Okay, here comes the roll down. And it's just to warm you up.

Inhale, as you exhale late your head fall forward. Round forward, try not to shift your weight back, I guess I'll turn sideways. Try not to shift your wight back. You may need to bend your knees, that's all right. Inhale, draw the belly up.

It's as if there's a weight on your tailbone and you just roll back up. And I do think of that heavy bone situation with my arms here so I'm trying to hard yet. Inhale. (inhales) And exhale. Just feeling where you are. Inhale, you can bend your knees.

You can definitely bend your knees. And I might bend them intentionally in a moment but I'm feeling a little flexible surprisingly, so I didn't automatically do it. I will on this one. Inhale (inhales) and exhale. (exhales). Hands to the ground, okay?

To the ground. Bend your knees, draw your knees toward your forehead, let your back round, and straight. Maybe you get a little closer to your thighs each time. I'm doin' three. Here's two. And straight.

Bend. And straight. Hold it there or keep 'em slightly bent. From here we're trying to come straight back up. Here it is.

Roll back up. Off we go. Let's go to the floor. And put the ball between your knees. Okay, and again I might go back to this idea of it's not about the knees, not about the ball even really.

But I'm holding the ball and maybe think to be aware of the space above the ball as we go into pelvic curl. So just roll yourself down. Draw your feet in close enough that you can keep them flat and parallel just as they were. You can feel the back of your arms. We're gonna stand on both the feet and the back of the arms.

Here we go for pelvic curl, inhale. And exhale to roll up. It's allowing the belly to drop. You don't have to try so hard here either. But you do have to hold the ball.

You do have to hold the ball. That's the only rule I might really offer you and anything else you can modify. Take your breath at the top. (inhales) And exhale allowing yourself to come back down. And just again, noticing this is why I do the warmup prior to going straight to the hundred. Go again, up we come.

Check yourself out. Stay here for one second and even your feet, if they're not, recommit to the tuck of the pelvis or the pubic bone toward sternum and stand on your feet more. What are your shoulders doing? Mine are okay I think. But I'm gonna check it out, oh yeah, they were good.

And then as I come down just it's almost a softening to the front of the body without letting go of that ball. And down we go. Inhale and exhale. (exhales) Stand on your feet as you go up more. We're gonna use what we need but nothin' else. Inhale and exhale, we're just goin' up and down.

Hopefully kind of sequentially rather than just up down which is another option. Here we go, up again. Up again, I kind of think of reaching my knees out over my ankles or toward my toes at the top. I recommit, almost have to every time for me. Inhale there, and exhale down.

And as usual I notice that wobble that I do, I don't know what it's about, I don't really care I just notice it. Someday it will be gone maybe. What do you notice about you as you're doing your practice? And what do you learn for yourself? Kinda different every day with the same exercises, isn't it?

Inhale (inhales) and exhale (exhales). I'm gonna give us three more and shut my mouth a little bit. I'm exhaling as I go up, inhale, pausing and exhaling down. Just so you know, and just look for a little more depth in yourself. Here we go. (exhales) Recommit, recommit.

Decide, I'm long, my neck's long, my shoulders aren't in my ears. I knew I said I was gonna shut up and wouldn't but anyway come on down. (exhales) I know you're still holding that ball or picking it up and putting it back. Two more. (exhales) You know the drill. (exhales) I have to say more. Whatever you're noticing about your last one, anyway go, the more I try to not wobble the worse it gets so I'm comin' down like it doesn't matter on this next one. Here we go, oh yeah. Okay, still there but whatever.

All right. From there just hug your knees into your chest. The ball's still where we placed it. Take your legs to about a tabletop or 90/90. Arms out to the side to a T position. To a T position, palms up please.

If you want to you can also leave your feet on the ground. No problem, not at all. So here we go, we are going to rotate towards the front which to me means the plant. Inhale to come over, the hip came up, the knees are aligned, I'm actually gonna roll the ball forward ever so slightly so I know my knees are lined up. Start exhaling and bring back to center.

Do that on the first couple so that I just kinda check myself out, over the other way. Inhaling, check it out and like yeah, I could roll the ball forward with that top knee a tiny bit. And exhale back. Now you know what you're doing, just go again. We're flowing. (exhales) And this class is meant to be "Ball of Fun" so find it, look for it, and I'll do the same.

Inhaling over, start the exhaling, let the lower body almost just follow. But the ribs begin. Over. (inhales) So what I mean there is I start the exhale and automatically I'm kinda connected to the middle and my legs are just the weight against my middle and that's beneficial I think. And exhale. Inhale over. The hip definitely comes up but the shoulders do not.

So that kinda dictates the range of motion for you. All right, and if it's really hard to rotate you just put your feet down. It's still, the rule, so to speak, still applies. And over, we're gonna do three more counting one each side. So there's one, draw back to center, last two. (inhales) (exhales) And finally.

If Gary's out there he's like, "She always starts slow "and then kicks it up." And he's right, that's exactly what I do and I like it that way and I'm gonna keep it that way. Slide your behind your head, I lace them fully together. You can do hand over hand if that's more comfortable. Basically at the base of your skull. Let the elbows come off the ground.

Now just leave your lower body where it is and hang onto the ball lightly. Here we go, chest lift. Exhale, curl your head, neck and shoulders forward, look at the ball, look at your knees, maybe above your knees, and inhale, exhale come down. Here we go, exhale, curl up, so the action's happening on the exhale for me but you could change it. I'm doing my best not to tuck the pelvis right now but sometimes it's not a bad idea in the beginning of a class to allow that just to warm up more.

Stretch it out more. Exhale, curl. (exhales) Hold, inhale. Exhale almost like you're gonna lengthen yourself out so much you set your head down further than where you picked it up originally. Inhale, start the exhale, that's just a tip. Meaning it helps, so you start the exhale and can't you automatically feel the belly drop? You don't have to think about it it just happens.

Hold inhale. (inhales) This one's a little different, you start that exhale though it's easier to elongate on the way down changing it. Inhale, exhale curl up (exhales). Inhale, let go of the arms and reach to the back of your legs, exhale, bend the elbows out to the side to pull you up a little higher. What's the ball doing? You're not pinching it but you are holding it.

Inhale, let both arms go up, put 'em behind your head and come on down. Again, inhale, I'm only gonna do two of these today 'cause I got something else in mind. Exhale, curl up letting your head be heavy if you can and sometimes you have to remind yourself even during the actual repetition. Let go, reach to the back of the legs, sink the belly as you start that exhale. Pull yourself up, use your arms.

And I pulled myself up so high I could see I let my feet turn out. So I'm gonna fix it. Check yourself out. Arms come up, put 'em behind and down you go. Right. Big change, come up again.

Inhale, exhale, curl up, come up. Just reach forward. Go ahead and pull yourself a little higher. Sink the belly. Stay up here this time but now the hands are gonna go one over the other. All right, so line 'em up, drop the shoulders or widen the collar bones.

We're going to inhale as we reach just outside that forward knee toward the plant. Inhale, cross the ball, stay up there, go to the other side. Almost like you're going forward more than you're going in rotation. Inhale as you go through the middle, exhale. Inhale, come through the middle, exhale.

So not much is changing in terms of the height hopefully. I'm thinking about just hanging onto the ball and keeping my feet still. (exhales) Just two more. Again. (exhales) Come back to the center, go ahead and grab on. Grab on, pull yourself higher, pull yourself higher. And now just pick your feet up.

Come on down, hug your knees to your chest. Okay. Here we go. I'm putting my heels together, I am still holding that ball. It's not gonna come out.

I'm gonna pick my head, neck and shoulders up and we're just gonna go into a little rocking motion. Try not to kick your lower legs. (exhaling) If it's not a smooth ride you can stretch out your ball meaning, oh that's weird when you're doing a small ball class, isn't it? (laughs) You can stretch out your shape of your body in the ball and it might get a little smoother and that would be better than that flat spot some of us have. I'm gonna do three more.

One (exhales). Two, try to keep your shape, whatever you decided on. Here's three and we are up. (hands clap) Good. Ball, just scoot back if you're the forward of your mat as well. We're gonna place the ball at your low back.

Just getting water. Hm, hm, hm. Not a great idea to be drinking seltzer water but anyway, here we go. Put the ball at your low back. It kinda has to touch to work.

It may roll away a little bit. And you just bring it back. So feet little bit apart. Sitting tall even though if it's not touching you know you're gonna touch it quick on this one as long as it's not rolling away. Inhale.

The goal here is to as you exhale press into the ball with your spine, find the ball. Just find the ball. That's it, come back up. It's almost a pelvic curl again, right? It is, in fact.

Press into the ball. (exhales) Okay now we're gonna take it only a little bit further but try to pop the ball however with your spine. We go back, go a little further, keep going, whatever you have to do, you don't probably need your hands at all but when you are back a little bit and you really feel like, you could just chill on the ball that's where I want you to recommit again to that tuck. Not with your feet if you can help it. Try to do it from anywhere above the knee. That's cool with, you know, just pop it.

You won't, but try. Inhale. Now we're gonna come back up. You're gonna try to stay on the ball. Hands can be wherever, I'm gonna take 'em forward now. Stay on the ball, stay on the ball, stay on the ball until the very last second and then you can come up and I now know you won't be touching the ball most likely.

Inhale. Exhale, draw your spine back into that ball. You know you're gonna try and pop it. Not with your feet. Just by being there and committing to the middle of your body, inhale. Start exhaling, come forward, we stay on the ball, we stay on the ball, those hip bones stay back as long as we can, we're finding our C curve.

We sit up tall, inhale. Exhale, we go back. We go back, we go back. I mean really, you could just rest, but you'd be so mad at me by the end of this if you did. So find it, push into it.

If you have to use your feet to find it do and then let your feet rest. Inhale, exhale, up we go. Inhale, changing it a little. Come back. (exhales) sorry for that hard exhale there but I needed it. Okay, so here we are, take just take one arm up, just inhale, nothing changes, reach as far back as you can, let your shoulders roll out but I'm still committing to trying to pop the ball. The arms are like feather. And back, we'll do both arms next, inhale.

Commit to it, commit trying to get the spine in. And exhale, hold here, inhale, start the exhales, keep the spine on the ball as long as you can and come on up. Just one more of those, inhale. (inhales) Exhale, we go back. (exhales) If it moves you fix it. Sort of like life. Pick an arm, goes up, inhale.

Challenge yourself, push into that ball, exhale, bring it down. And remember this 'cause we're gonna come back to it without the ball in a minute. (exhales) Both arms go up. Inhale. Position of everything else isn't changing. Not even looking at you 'cause I know I'll fall out of it if I do, inhale, hold. Start the exhale, keep your spine on the ball and come back up.

Good, I'm gonna leave it at that no matter what I just said. Move the ball back and this'll be a little bit, maybe the first one you'll go, oh I thought that's what she said and it's not right for you so just fix it (laughs). Seems to be my word today. I'm putting the ball at about the lower area of my ribcage. Shoulder blades maybe is better way of looking at it.

Okay, from here hand behind your head again. This time we're gonna arch over the ball. I love this one at the end of the day. It's absolutely the beginning of my day but just for your own purposes when you practice without any of us, exhale, again, pop the ball as you roll yourself. I'm trying to push down into the ball.

Again, my legs don't do anything. It's just tactile sensation so I become more aware of everything but it'll end up doing the right thing. Inhale back. And exhale. (exhale) Inhale back. And exhale up curling forward.

Try not to leave your head looking at the ceiling. And right if it feels easy that's cool but you get to challenge yourself when you use the small ball. Push into it. How do you do that? I don't know, but you can. And it doesn't involve any other extremity than the mid-torso. Here we go.

Up, up, up (exhales), we stay there. Remember I promised you that other exercise again. Reach for your legs. Curl yourself off the ball. Up you come.

Move the ball out of the way for the moment. Arms forward or you could hold on. In fact let's just hold on 'cause we're gonna let go in a minute, exhale roll back. Pretend the ball's there though. That's the point of doing this.

Right, I'm gonna pop some imaginary ball because that's where I wanna work from. Go down to that place where you know you can hold it. Let go of one arm, reach it up. Exhale, bring it back. Hold on.

Other arm up. Or you don't have to hold on. You could really challenge yourself and not hold on. But now we're gonna let go of both. We're not moving the body, we're not moving the body, inhaling up, ooh, Kristi moved her body a little bit. That's okay. Exhale to come forward.

We are doing four. We can do four of anything. We've already done one. Have to fire myself as a housekeeper as I look around. Inhale, go down, exhale.

Get to that place where you think you can hold it still with just one arm. If you think about it choose the other arm that you start with. Inhale, exhale press down. Other arm, inhaling up, exhale down. Here's both, this is the tough one.

Keep your body where it is, keep your body where it is. That was your inhale, exhale, grab the legs again and come up with a long exhale there. Sitting tall you get two more. Exhale, roll back. Imaginary ball, all the same deal.

Pick an arm, inhale up. If you wanna challenge yourself let go of the other one. (exhales) Switch again. (inhales) Here come both. (inhales) Oh boy. Tomorrow I'm gonna get my arms further back, that's okay. Exhale, come forward and sit tall.

Last one, inhale. Exhale, roll back. (exhales) I'm still being mindful of my feet. They turn a little bit, they do what they do. And down. Other arm and down.

Both arms (inhales) and down. Inhale, exhale, come up. (exhales) Yes. Okay, you know we have to do it, right? Here's what we're gonna try for today. The balls are kinda small but we're gonna try to do the 100. We'll see what happens in the way that I wanna do it.

Put both feet on your ball. And if it's just really too weird I would rather you hold the ball with your ankles so it's right in between, okay? But I'm gonna try for that. Sitting super tall we're going to reach forward, we know what the C curve is we know we have an imaginary ball now behind us. Don't worry too much about the legs at the moment but maybe a subtle pressure into the ball as much as you can.

We roll down, we roll down, we're not going all the way we're rolling down to the point where we can start pumping from here. Gently pressing down it's inhale, two, three, four, five, and exhale two, three, four, five. In (inhales) and out (exhales). In. And out (exhales). And in, and out.

Hold it here. Come on down with your upper body. Inhale, just leave your arms down for now. We're going right back where we were but you might wanna adjust the ball a little more to, say, your right ankle, 'cause we're lifting the left leg in a moment, here we are, we inhale. We're already thinking about lifting both legs off the ball.

So think about that, but particularly will be the left leg now so engage that way, exhale, curl up and then do float the leg just off the ball and three more rounds. Inhale. And exhale (exhales). And in and out. Can you push down on the ball? In and out. And then of course we have to come down 'cause, well 'cause. Inhale.

Switch the ball a little over to the left leg. You know what's coming and it's not gonna add up to 100. I get it. It's okay. Curl up. I don't usually get that far anyway. Pick up that right leg.

It's coming from higher than the leg itself. Let's go three. In, two, three, four, five, out, push down on the other, in, two, three, four, out. In, two, three, four, five, and out and we go down. This might make 110 or we might have barely made 90.

I don't mind. I hope you don't either. Inhale. You are getting ready to pick up your legs so think about it right now. Act like you're going to but don't so you're engaged. Curl up, and you only have to do one round but float the legs, both of them. Here we go, in, two, three, four, five, and out, two, three, four, five. Easy peasy.

Draw the knees in, roll yourself up. No problems. Next thing. I'm gonna move the ball aside to do the next few exercises. Picking up the pace ever so slightly.

Hold on to your right leg. I'm doing a single leg stretch. Pull that knee in. The other leg is gonna stretch out. Okay, next time we do the ball we'll do a fun one too, but right now think about putting the in seem of your foot against the inner part of your knee or maybe calf or ankle, whatever you can, as far as you hug in.

Touch with the foot for now. Draw your spine out first then draw the pelvic bones back. We're gonna roll down and we'll float the leg when it just feels right. And we're coming back up, same position. Let's do that same thing again, just start to roll back, find your elbows strong, your arms strong, we'll rock and come up.

One more. Back and come up. And of course we're gonna change sides and then I'll do the real deal. So pull that knee in, square off your hips, hug the feet together. You could do this with the ball, just so you know.

But that's basically the only difference. We start to roll back, when we know it's easy to lift the leg based on the shape we made we roll back. We come up, and I am letting my leg go down but you don't have to, it's a little more challenging if you don't. Two more. Roll back, commit, and up.

One more, roll back. Up. Switch back to the first side. Roll it down to that place. You're not coming up, you're gonna stay there.

And now let the leg come up a bit, so just do that. Switch. And switch. And now I'm gonna go a little quicker. It's in, in, out, out.

And by that I mean inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale. Body doesn't move except for the legs. Out, in. Pull, pull weight in, get the stretch. Imagine you were reaching your tailbone to the far wall even as your legs come in.

Let's do a couple more, here's one. Here's the two, both legs in, hold. Let your head go down, keep your hands where they are. Push your shins or your calves or your knees into your hands, so curl up a little bit and start rocking to come up, all the way up. Cool.

Ball between the ankles again, or just above the ankle is probably more accurate. Line your knees up, you can separate your feet to the width that they need to be parallel to, they're in line with your knees. We roll ourselves back down, bring the legs up eventually and we draw them way in but your head stays up for double leg stretch. Again, you're gonna reach out, reach the arms back and right here hang out, you don't need to look at me. Imagine you're holding the ball from the very upper part of your inner thigh, exhale, grab the legs so they came back, right?

Go again, we'll go quick now. Open and close, inhale and draw exhale. Imagine you're scooping that ball right up to your chest from the middle of your body. Three more. (exhales) Keep it level.

Two, (exhales) one, and hold. Let your head go down. Awesome. Yup, all right. From there this one's a little trickier so be gentle with yourself.

We're gonna take the ball, either mid calf or ankle, I'm gonna aim for ever so slightly higher than where I had it at my ankles before. Hands behind your head. Inhale, exhale, curl up. From here you're gonna rotate towards what you can see on the screen. As you exhale draw the one leg forward, the other leg out and rotate.

You're gonna hang onto the ball. Bring it back to center on the inhale. Exhale, go the other way. You're sliding that ball up the one side of the calf as you rotate. Keep that knee in line.

Don't let that knee turn out, I know it's tempting. And come back, adjust the ball when you need to. It's a weird little thing but I'm, again, switch, get up, stay up with your upper body. I'm just trying to give you that sense of staying in alignment even as you do this. It's not just a kicking of the legs as you rotate.

One more each way and we'll get rid of the ball and do it normally. Yeah? (exhales) All right, back to center, get the ball out of your way. Let your head go down for a moment. Knees together to start.

Curl your head neck and shoulders up. Let's go toward, face me as you go, or just here we go, rotate. One, switch, two, same as before. Inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale. I kinda think shoulder toward hip a little more than the rotation because I need to work a little more on getting up.

If that's no problem for you, might twist more and look behind you. I'm not doing that, it's up to you. Keep going, go. Go get, stay strong. Imagine the ball was sliding there, just got smaller now 'cause the feet are closer together.

And now come back to center, hug your knees and let yourself rest. All right, from there we're rockin' up again. Just sit yourself up and we're heading into the spine stretch using the ball. So feet are a little wider than the mat, not a lot wider, maybe even on the mat. Do your best if you need to sit up or bend the knees it's totally okay because it's about the spine and it's about the abdominals and you know the drill.

The ball is pretty close to you. I tend to like to go, my hands side by side rather than one over the other on this one because it's a little closer to where this one ends up without the ball, all right. Push down on the ball to sit taller. Use what you can to help yourself. So I'm gently inhaling and pushing on the ball.

As I exhale I roll the ball forward and I have to move it forward as well. Roll forward. Then inhale here and exhale, roll yourself back up. Like you're sitting against a wall. Inhale. Gentle press down, lift tall.

Start your exhale, now as you go forward, remember how the ball was behind us before? Imagine again it was now. And you're holding your pelvis back even as you stretch the rest of yourself forward. You can go as far as you want so long as you try to keep those hip bones back, and come back up. So here's our next challenge.

When we go forward we're gonna exhale every drop of air. We're gonna exhale everything that we need to and the shape itself helps so you're gonna almost try to touch your head, the top of your head in between your knees. Good luck. But get the air out, that's it. 'Cause then all you have to do is naturally inhale and you're back to where we started.

Here we go, inhale, get tall, feet are flexed if you think about it. Exhale, here goes all the air, all the air, trying to get the top of your head you can adjust your hands right between your knees. Go ahead, go ahead, touch, touch, touch, touch. Are you out of air? Are you sure? 'Cause then if you are it's so easy to just inhale back.

(inhale) Natural. It turns out the body's pretty smart. Go again. Press down, round forward, go, go, go. I said "Ball of Fun". I find this fun. (laughs) I hope you do too, come back up.

If you want a little more you can press the legs into the ground. Up we go, round over. Go, go, go, go, go. Hold those hips back. Oh, you could check your shoulders 'cause I have your hands so narrow.

And come back up. All right, just look at the ball where it is and imagine it was bigger. And I'm dong a lot of imagining today, I realize that, but, so do it (laughs). Imagine the balls bigger, like the physio ball, right? And you're hugging it so you're still connected.

Arms are straight ahead, I'll go palms down today as if I'm pressing on a tabletop, we're gonna just shoot the arms forward as we try to touch the ball with our head. Inhale, legs are down, round over, exhale. Go, go, get all that air out. Come on that gives us a really good chance to get really good air and go, go, go. My ball rolled backwards, that's not fair.

And come back up. I'm moving my ball out. Inhale. Exhale, strong legs, strong body, strong people. Go. Reach, reach, hold the pelvis back. Oh, I almost touched it, and come back up.

Two more (inhales). Exhale (exhales). And come back up. I got it that time, it's getting looser. Inhale, exhale down. It's not really going for hamstring stretch here so check yourself out there if you're flexible. All right, rotate the arms from the shoulder, palms face each other, different version.

Here we go, round forward, same thing for now. Once you're where you're going we're gonna try and straighten the back from the tailbone up. So lower spine, middle spine, just let your arms follow, they're right alongside your ears. Up, looking for a long spine, lean into it not by thrusting the ribs but by staying straight and just doing what you can. Then exhale, we roll all the way forward and back up to the top.

Inhale. Exhale, round forward. Theoretically touching the ball, but not super critical at the moment. Now I think pressing my legs down as I go from the base of the spine through the lower back, through the middle back, the upper back, and I'm hoping I'm on a long diagonal with my arms as close to my ears as possible. Exhale, round forward and come back up.

Just one more. Inhale, and exhale, rounding forward. You know what to do. Inhale. From here, if someone pulled you from your arms, even let your shoulders go if that's necessary to get the sensation of being pulled forward, then try to drop 'em back.

It doesn't matter how wide your arms are, that's cool. Thumbs toward the ceiling, we're gonna pull the upper arms back for 10, nine, stay leaning, eight, shoot, seven (laughs), six, five, four, can you get more? Three, come on, find that upper back, two, and one. And round forward and I suspect you feel something between your shoulder blades hopefully. Take the arms out to the side, take the legs a little bit wider maybe, I'm going to just leave my arms as they were.

Saw, rotate towards the front. Check yourself out, did you lean back? Did you lean too far forward? Just try to stay upright and then hinge forward. Little finger of little toe.

Other arm reaches and rotate. Inhale, sit up, and come to center. Other side. Inhale, rotate. I'm doing it kinda mechanically, intentionally, and also somewhat of a flat back. It's not gonna be flat but I am going for a bit of a hamstring stretch this time.

Push that back arm up, rotate more, I'll go faster in a second. Sit up in rotation, you're back to center. Here we go, inhale. Exhale, reach forward, pull that back arm up as you rotate, come up to vertical in the rotation and center, inhale, rotate. Exhale, reach.

Come back up, and center. Now pay attention to your hips if you weren't already. As I rotate I'm cool, I'm still feeling even. As I go forward I know I need to almost think of pulling the opposite hip back or even down. Come back up and center. Last one.

Not last one, one more after this. So you can play with that. Let's go. Inhale, rotate, exhale, reach, reach, reach. Inhale, sit up.

And center. This is it. Come back up. Voila. Put your feet together, yeah, put your feet together and let's go face down, the balls gonna come with us and just be on our sternum for a little single leg kick.

If your ball's really big it may not be worth doing. In other words I don't want you to put your low back in any kind of compromised position. But let's see if we can set it up. So I have mine ever so slightly above my sternum. My hands are down, just down.

You can clasp 'em, whatever you wanna do. I'm gonna do that. All right. From here stretch your legs long. Remember that gentle pelvic tilt we were doing before. So I'm keeping contact with the pubic bone and not so much the hip bones, that's about it.

Extend your spine. I often feel almost like my sternum is pushing the ball forward. All right. With your legs absolutely straight, and to prove that press the tops of your feet into the mat, lift your kneecaps off, 'kay? Because as soon as you start to lift those straight legs, it won't be much, that's okay, we're gonna do kick, kick, and just go right into it and switch. So pick a leg, it's kick, kick, switch.

Kick, kick. Kick, kick. Just alternating it trying to keep the rest of the body still and the ball is a bit of a marker for that. Keep goin'. I'm looking just forward, looking at my chair. Keep going, shoulders down, you're strong though, you're sphinx like, right? You're proud.

I just lost count there but keep going. All right. That's gonna do it for now. We're gonna just turn onto our side and place the ball under our ribs. All right, and I'm dong a modified version of the side kick is what's happening here. So lower leg is at about 90, I'm up on the elbow, and the ball at this point is really just to go okay right, I'm chillin' out on the ball.

Don't do that. This is where I would almost try not to touch the ball but it's for a marker. Again, top leg stretches long, hips are stacked. Lift it, kick forward, let's go. Kick, kick, take it behind you, stop.

Look behind you. Is it behind you? Or did you lean back? Okay keep it behind you but roll the hip forward and now we go, you know the rules. Kick, kick, and sweep. Kick, kick, and sweep.

Kick, kick, and sweep. Kick, kick, get back there. Check your leg, I have to check my knee. I hyper extend so I often don't even know where my knee is. It's like, oh it's straight but it's really, you know.

Keep it back on the next one. Stay there, stay there. Look at it maybe, I don't know, check your hips, but from the back of the thigh press back a little further. You might have to counter it with rotating forward a bit more. You're still tall, you look proud. And we're gonna lift from there.

10, nine, eight, seven, each time I lift I'm not dropping in the ball. Someone's counting out there, you'll stop after 10. I'm gonna be somewhere near there, maybe now. Okay, hug the knee in. I like to do a little stretch here. Period.

Put it in front of the knee of you can. Or wherever, try for that. You can straighten the lower leg or not and just sit up. Sit up, sit up, sit up. I am now going to, if that's enough of a stretch you stay there, but I'm gonna bend the knee and aim to get my butt down.

Aim being the operative word on this side. I'm gonna try for it. And I'm pretty close, I'm pretty close. But there's more. Hug that knee in.

Sit taller first. That is probably close to enough for me but I'm gonna test it. Take my ribs and rotate, just hang onto the leg, you can do whatever with the back arm. I tend to want to put it down behind me to drive my spine upwards as I rotate. Oh, and I gotta admit that feels good.

It seems that the leaf blower guy comes on Thursday mornings, I'm hoping you're not hearing that. (laughs) But such is live life. All right, you know what's coming. Other side. Ball is under the ribs, lower leg is at 90, you're trying to be as upright on your hips as possible. For some that's a really hard thing to do because of pressure, so do the best you can.

We're not resting on the ball, we reach the top leg, we lift, and we kick forward. I'm not doing the slow one, go, go. Push back, check your knee out, check your hips. Press, press, and back. I'm inhaling forward, exhaling back if that matters to you.

And really go for it. The thing I am doing today is keeping the upper body still, later we get to play with really swinging it. If you were here last week we really swung it. Couple more. Back, and hold it back.

And this where it is worth checking. Is the leg still at about hip height? Is it behind you actually? And test rolling the top hip forward without doing the whole body. And we lift it for 10, one, two, three, nothing's changing on the ball, no pressure changes.

Again, I speak and I lose count so you'll do about 10. I'm gonna do about three more. That's probably like 13, but anyway. I'll get on with it, yeah? Okay, let it go. Bring it in front.

Sit yourself up. You can straighten that leg. Eventually I am gonna bend it so you don't have to straighten it ever. See where you are, see if you can get the hip down. Oh interesting. Interesting. Usually I'm like, "No problem." It's kinda fun when that happens.

You're like "Oh, my body's trippin', but it's learning." I like it. I'm doin' my best to get it down, it's not fully down. Normally it could be, but that's okay 'cause I have this back hand to put anywhere I want to push down to sit up, which makes it even more of a stretch. But then I get to rotate and still try to get the hip down and it's enough. If I'm stretching I'm happy. That's the point.

A little different than normal, but whatever that means. I got lots of stories. I could say, but really it's just today. It's just what's happening. Okay, we're getting close, hang on.

Hang on, I'm almost done, I need a tiny second more. Yeah, okay. So next thing. We're gonna go face down again without the ball and do double leg stretch and a few more back extensions and we'll call it a day, I think that's good. So just keep it nearby though, I'm just putting it off to the side. Face down.

Feet as close together as possible. Your forehead would go on the floor if you're not wearing a mike, I'm gonna keep mine up just to hopefully not annoy you (laughs) with what would happen. Lace the fingers together behind your back. Maybe start at the low back if you're not used to this but try to get them up as high as you can, and then here's the real trick, you've already drawn your abdominals up, your legs are straight and strong, can you let your elbows come to the floor? I certainly can on one side but not the other for reasons I will not bore you with.

But do what you can. From here we're gonna turn our head to one side. Pick a side, it doesn't matter, but hover the feet. And we kick them to the butt three times. One, two, three, keep them hovered as you straighten them and your arms out.

Maybe you'll look forward a little. And then come down, refold the arms, turn your head the other way, elbows down, we still have a lot to say, go. One, two, three, and straighten, just like reaching your hands. You could also let go of the hands. Sometimes that's a better way to do it to really keep yourself long and open.

Switch, we go three, two, one, stretch, straighten. And switch, and the switch really just means which way you look. And there we're doing two more. Actually, that was it right there. That was it right there.

Let go. Reach like a dart. I let go of my hands is what I meant to say. Sorry about that. Take the arms, just turn 'em as they naturally do out to a T position.

It might lower you, right? It might lower you, that's okay, so my chest is on the ground, I actually want it on the ground. Beat the legs together for 20. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. One, two, three, hm, hm, hm, nine 10.

Let it come down, hands come to your shoulders. Push yourself up to a round back. And then we come down again but we're gonna want that ball right near us. We're doing the sternum thing again. Sternum thing again.

I'm putting it here again, as a tactile sensation, so that when you don't have it you won't be this high, obviously, but that you can get the sensation and from the, upper back strength is not my forte and I really work on finding it. So why the ball, sorry, I'm talking now, I need to, the ball really helps is if I think about putting my sternum in the floor even though I know I'm trying to go up it's instant for me. It's not very impressive looking, but it's instant in terms of where I feel it and what I'm properly working. So with that in mind just take your arms out in front of you and don't let the ball be where it takes your breath away, that's too low, take it higher than that. And my hands are about the width of my mat, some of you will need to be wider, some of you are more flexible, but that's where mine are.

From here if we could be all the way down we would be but we're just sort of floating down. Leaving the arms straight engage the legs again as if that ball were between your ankles or knees. From there start inhaling, press down on the ball with your chest, but also start to roll it forward, and by roll I mean like a millimeter as you start to look forward and lift up on your hands, just kinda come closer naturally, then when you get to where you think is your high point take a moment and go, "Am I really pressing on the ball again?" Like pop the ball again with your sternum this time. It's like the reverse chest lift. And then come down.

I'm coming up on an inhale, it allows me to keep breathing while I'm in back extension. Here we go, inhaling, I'm first thinking down but also forward, I come up, I come up, my legs just as straight, they're still involved, not doing a lot. Woo. Can you drop into the ball a little more? And come down.

So not a whole lot goin' on in the lower back, hopefully. Look for that, here we go. Pressing down into the ball. Hands aren't really doing much, they're just being dragged along the floor as much as I can lift but I'm also rolling the ball in my mind, forward. I can look around, can you?

It should be easy head, easy neck. And come down, one more like that. Here we go, rolling the ball, la, la, la. And down. Okay from here we're just gonna help ourselves up enough to take the ball away.

Bend the elbows. Think like baby swan or prep swan. Swan prep, something like that. But my hands are near my shoulders where I know I can do that exact same thing. I'm pretending the ball is there. Same exact exercise but we'll see how far we go.

Inhale, start to press the chest down, looking forward. Imagine you're rolling that ball forward. The legs are engaged but not overtaking. Keep going, go to where you can. I might be able to float my elbows this time.

And then I'm gonna go down the same way as if I'm trying to drag that ball back to me. Down, down, down. I don't think of myself as using my imagination so much but I know how many times I've said that today so I guess I do, here we go again. It's the shoulders down, we press the chest down a little bit. We start to look forward, freedom in the neck.

Freedom in the head. Check yourself out. Imaginary ball rolling forward. You can come up as high as you want. But it's not about the low back right now. It'll work but it's not about it so don't let it overtake.

Then when you come down maybe think of drawing your hands or elbows back again. Find that imaginary ball again. (laughs) And bring it back to you. Last one folks. Here we go. Inhale, you might adjust your arms, you're your own teacher.

So make it feel good mostly, but also that you can find that upper back, you can find the opposition to sitting at a desk, you can find the opposition of stress by doing this. And sometimes (sighs) that alone can take your breath away. I'm gonna have ourselves push up going to a rest position. Find some comfort there. If you can't be on your knees like this, just a tip for the future, you could have a towel nearby and put it behind your knees, or you could just be on your back knowing that we are about to wrap this up.

I'm pushing gently into, well my palms are fully connected and I'm also gently pushing the mat forward in my mind. Wow. I do imagine a lot, don't I. Pull the hip bones up kind of in that pelvic tuck position and from there best you can, let the skin on your face hang. You have to stay a little connected but I'm trying to just let us start to relax a little bit. And I think it's gonna be even easier when we do it from a roll down position.

So curl the toes under, come up to where your hands are just on the ground again, find that forward bent position. Feet parallel, check yourself out. And this is also a good way to evaluate whether or not you achieved your intention today. Heavy head. Skin, bones, everything.

I am almost just resting on my thighs for the moment but I'm gonna change that as I roll up. Draw the hip bones back, tuck the pelvis, hands'll leave the floor. Heavy head, heavy head, heavy head. Roll yourself up to standing. Straighten the knees when it feels right.

(exhales) Take a minute. We're gonna do those heel rises again like we did in the beginning. And I'm imagining, again, that ball. Here we go. I shoulda called this class something else. We may change it when it goes on the sight, up you go.

Ooh, still a little wobbly, that's okay. I actually feel connected in the middle more. That's just what I notice, what do you notice? And down. Let's just do five. Rise up again. (exhales) And down.

The arm bones actually kinda ground me a little bit. They're just heavy. Up. Just two more. The wobble has never been an issue for me because how else would I stay balanced if I didn't wobble a little bit.

Turns out we aren't robots. Sometimes I feel like one, but we aren't. Last one for me, here we go. As she prances out of it 'cause she lost it. That's okay.

One deep breath together please, stand however you want, just find it, feel it, and hopefully you feel a little better than when you started. Take a deep breath in. (inhales) Raise your ribs, raise your shoulders, raise your heart, raise everything and let it go. (exhales) And I am so glad you were here, thanks for being here, I hope to see you next time.

Garage Sessions with Kristi - Playlist 2

Comments

1 person likes this.
What a glorious way to start a day! Thank you, Kristi, for your energizing company, this class really was a ball! Big smile coming all the way back to you from Sweden!
1 person likes this.
This was super fun. I've never smiled during the 100s before. I felt like a child or cat playing. Thank you!
2 people like this.
Wonderful class. Thank you, Kristi. I loved the back extension exercises in the end. Usually it is very challenging for me to engage the upper back but your cues really helped me to connect today. Thanks so much! 
1 person likes this.
Awesome class! Thank you Kristi. Loved all the imagery.
1 person likes this.
Thank you Kristi :) I love your classes and really enjoy your cueing style and commentary.
Thank you all for joining me! 
This was a really fun class - just what I needed today! thank you
Really enjoyed the pace and flow of the class. I know it's your style and I appreciate it, but I did find the chatting and overcuing distracting and confusing at times.
Loooooved this class! Merci!
Thanks for a great class, I've always loved using the ball
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