Thanks for joining me today. We are going to use this one prop for our zesty, yummy mat flow. It's one of these squishy type balls, the over ball, or whatever ball you happen to have. Let's go ahead and place this ball between your legs. In the middle of the thigh, I'm gonna suggest, and I would like your feet to be about your hip width distance, and really squeeze that ball.
Your inner thighs are the gateway to your abdominals. So if you're using the ball adequately here, you're gonna feel your abdominals just kind of hollow and come into place here, so use that. Take the arms up, breathe. Take the arms down, let's roll down together. Rolling through your head, your neck, your upper back.
For me, this ball just really grounds even my roll down here so beautifully. Inhale. Use a breath to roll up, and breathe when it makes sense to you, of course. Looking up toward the ceiling. Open your heart, spread those fingers.
Do what you'd like with your arms. And roll down again, one vertebrae at a time. Now, if you need to bend your knees a little bit, or travel through the roll down a little differently, feel free to. Check in with your legs, and try to make sure that you are in fact using both legs equally. Standing equally on your two legs as we come up, and lift through the arms.
This time, will you reach through one arm a little bit more, and allow the other arm to droop down, or drape is a better word than droop, toward the floor. And then change sides. So I'm gonna lift up the other arm, reaching behind me. I might even reach for the ball there. And then change again.
So I'm reaching up with one arm, and I'm reaching behind me with my hand, using the ball to create just a little bit more stretch. And one more time here. Find your breath, please. And let's take the arms down, and roll down again. And this time, in that forward position.
I'm not shaping my arms at all. I'm letting my neck relax, I'm letting my arms drape. And then try bending your legs a little bit, and lengthening, finding a little bit more stretch, a little more release. Two more times, just a little knee bend, and lengthening. And one more time, please, a slight knee bend.
Lengthen your legs, and go ahead and roll yourself up to a standing position. Let's do a few more shoulder openers here. Take your hands behind you, open through your heart. Look up, lift your arms if you're able to. And then bend your elbows.
Bring your hands toward the small of your back, and fold your head forward as your arms come forward. And we're gonna open again. So this is much like we would do if we were doing the double leg kick in the mat work. Same arm series, just focusing on shoulders and movement. Just one more time, breathing.
And coming forward. So let's set the intention to go down to our mats. I'm just gonna move into place so I'm ready to go. One last time, please, with the ball still there, roll yourself down one vertebrae a time. Walk yourself into a quadruped position so your hands are just underneath your hips.
Your knees. I'm sorry, your hands are not underneath your hips, your hands are underneath your shoulders, your knees are underneath your hips. Relax your feet, sway a little bit side to side perhaps, forward and back, and then settle into a cat cow. So we're gonna round through the back, let your head go, pulling your belly back, stretching through your back body. And then you're gonna extend through your back.
And once again, go a little further than you might normally go. And try looking around the room a little bit. Looking up, stretching your neck, and we'll round again. And extend, opening through the chest. And two more like that, please.
Rounding and extending. So remove the ball from between your legs, and walk yourself forward just a little bit until you can come around to a seat. We're gonna make our way onto our backs here. So however you'd like, perhaps you're gonna take a nice, clean rolldown. My knees happen to be bent, and I'm just gonna roll myself back, holding onto the ball.
All the way to my back, and then rest for a moment here. Finding a nice, comfortable still point. Place the ball underneath your pelvis, and relax. Yes, you get to fully relax here. Take in what that feels like, feel supported and relaxed at the same time here in this position.
And breathe in, and breathe out for me. Play a little bit with your own body. And pay attention to where your pelvis is comfortable, knowing that if you slip the ball a little further up your back, you're in a little bit more extension, which is okay if it feels good to you. If you slip your body the other way, you're gonna be slightly posterior with your pelvis, which might feel better for your body as well. I'm endeavoring to have my pelvis resting so that it is parallel with the earth here.
So the pubic bone and the hip bone are on the same plain. And just finding that still point. Sliding maybe the pelvis side to side a few times, and notice what you feel. I feel sticky on one side, and an easy glide on the other side. Try rotating a little bit, and just notice what you feel.
Breathing. And then let's find center again, and check in with the backs of your legs. And see if you can wake up your glutes without your pelvis responding, or your legs responding. So I'm gonna put my attention on my left glute, and then I'm gonna try lifting my other leg up. So I feel my glutes still working, my hamstring as well.
And I'd like to tap the heel down a couple times there. And then put the foot down, and change sides. So I'm gonna bring my attention to my glute without responding in my pelvis. And then I'll lift the other leg up. And I'm keeping my ankle flex, the one that I'm lifting, just for fun today.
I've done three, and then I'll put my foot back down. And now can you put a little bit of attention on the idea of pressing your pelvis into the ball, and notice what that does to your core. If I press actively my pelvis into the ball, my abdominal region just kind of wakes up, and is available to support for me. So keep that idea. We're shifting to the other leg again.
So I'm standing on my left, my right leg goes up. Here, I flex my ankle. I'm gonna point the foot as I reach down to the floor, and flex as I lift up. Just an easy glide through the hip joint. It's really a simple movement, but it feels very different when you're supported by the ball.
And it's also a little instability that wakes up some of your littler muscles, if you will. Your stabilizers. Put your foot down, change sides. So we're gonna feel the other glute and hamstring working. Lift the leg up, flexed ankle at when you reach up.
Point the foot when you go down if you'd like. Feel free to do you, please. So I'm just moving down and up, letting my hips glide, feeling the stability, feeling that idea of pushing down into the ball and breathing. So here, can you please go ahead and put both feet back down for me, and just slide one leg out to straight, and find a still point here with one straight leg, one bent leg. And for me, what's really nice here is I like to slip in the direction of my straight leg, a slight little bit of rotation, and I get a really lovely little stretch in various different places in my body.
The key with this kind of stretching is that you need to be both patient and curious, and allow the stretch time to happen. If you rush it, you won't feel anything, I assure you. Slide back to center, and then go ahead and change the arrangement. So I've got one leg straight, one leg bent, and I'm just relaxing now, completely relaxed. And then I'm just gonna slip myself a little bit over to the side of the straight leg, and notice what I feel.
So it's a very different feeling on one side than the other for me. Sometimes it's clear why, and other times it's not. So I invite you to explore, and breathe, and enjoy. Yum. Let's go ahead and come back to center.
Lift your hips, and take the ball out from underneath you, and just be still for a breath or two. Nice, gentle warmup there. Getting ready to move a little bit more vigorously, if we will. Place the ball for me between your thighs, so you can squeeze your inner thighs, and let's do our classic pelvic curl here. Inhale.
With an exhale, curl your pelvis up, feel the backs of the legs, squeeze the ball, take a breath, and lengthen and lower down, please. And let's repeat that pattern. Inhale, exhale to curl up. So you do wanna feel weight in the heels and the balls of the feet. And exhale to curl down.
I've gotten in the habit of just touching my glutes to make sure they're working. I tend to have a lazy left glute. So if you notice me touching, it's just so I can feel that they're working with my hamstrings with this position. And then once I know that I've got the right muscle recruitment, I stop touching. But feel free to use your own hands to help yourself self correct.
So we're still doing pelvic curls here. Go ahead and curl up one last time, and stay this time. Squeeze the ball with intention. Standing on one leg, stretch the other leg to straight, bend, change, stretch to straight, bend, change. Let's do that a few more times.
Really waking up those hip extensors. Just for the line today, I'm pointing my toes, although you're welcome to flex your foot, or do whatever you feel. One more time, keeping that nice lifted pelvis. And then we're going to lift the pelvis again in case it drooped down, mine did. And curl your body down one vertebra at a time.
Take your arms wide on the floor, this time, palm's facing up. Float your legs to tabletop. Just bring your feet together. You're in a gentle diamond shape. I just want the ball there as a spacer.
Try not to squeeze it too much, we're giving the adductors a little break here. Inhale to twist one direction, and exhale to come back to center. Spine twist here. So pulling back through center. The diamond shaped legs should offer a little bit of ease for those of you that have some tightness in your legs.
If you feel like you wanna squeeze, feel free to squeeze the ball. Or you could put it in a different spot as well, we're just using it as a marker right now. Breathing and moving. Inhaling to twist one more time. Come back to center, and last one, come back to center.
Hold the ball in your two hands. Bring your knees together at tabletop. Take your arms behind you, stretching through those shoulders, trying to still keep the ribcage grounded. Breathe in. With an exhale, we're gonna lift and reach the ball.
as far on the shins as we can, repeat. We're gonna use that ball, and reach a little further. So again, I'm just using it as a prop to hold right now. One more time. Lift and hold.
Slip the ball down in front of one leg. Slide the other leg out. Push, change, push, push, push, and push. So we're in single leg stretch. Now, we change here.
We take the ball around the leg just for fun, play and play. And if you wanna take your leg into a straight leg scissor here. Just changing the ball each time you change, using your brain a little bit. Woo, I almost forgot to change. One more time, please.
Good, hug your knees into your chest. Or just put your feet on the floor and sway side to side. It's a little hard to hug with the ball, but you certainly can. Adding a little rotation to our abdominal work. Legs at tabletop, hands reach to the ceiling.
We take a breath, we lift the head and chest. Now, we're going to send one leg to straight, go into rotation. Beautiful. Up and over, and into rotation with two arms. Now, one arm at a time.
It's like you're throwing the ball to the other side, and you're throwing the ball to the other side. You're not really throwing it, although you could try that. I'm not going to. I don't think it will look pretty if I throw my ball off the camera, or out the window. One more time.
Ah, I sort of wanna do it. Ah, there we go. Hug your knees into your chest. Place the ball kind of in a spot where you can hold it in. And then you're gonna hold where you feel you can rock and roll.
And keep the ball there, and come up to a sitting position. So go ahead and let the legs find a still point out in front of you. Place that ball for me. Actually, I'd probably better to keep the knees bent. Place the ball in a spot where you feel that you can rest pretty comfortably.
Somewhere on your ribcage perhaps, around the low ribs are a little higher up. What's lovely about this is you can kind of roll a little bit forward and back, and just kind of iron out, or breathe into, or relax your thoracic spine and your chest. I promise, we'll go to the relaxing part, the real relaxing part in a moment. But find a place where when you relax over, you feel pretty comfortable, you feel supported, but you also feel like it's pushing a little bit your flexibility. That's where we're going to work our abdominals, okay.
So use your belly muscles to lift up a little bit, and look in the direction of your pelvis. Your legs are bent, and the feet are just comfortably down. Head is cradling, or your hands are cradling your head. We're gonna inhale and go over the ball, and exhale to lift. Now, I want you to use the ball, push into the ball to go over it.
And before you lift up, think of grounding into the ball to lift up. So don't even think about your abdominals. Try that again. Push into the ball to then let your head and your shoulders relax over. And then you're grounding with your low ribcage to the ball to lift up.
For me, that's kind of magical. Believe it or not, I actually have a really hard time getting my abdominals to engage sometimes, especially if I'm a little stressed out or overworked, which happens sometimes. And so, this really helps me to feel my abdominals, the whole abdominal wall working. Stay lifted, please. We're gonna stay in this lifted position.
The head is resting in the hands. We're gonna gonna lift one leg up to tabletop. When you lift that leg, you're gonna rotate in that direction. Thinking of lifting a little more. Now, we go to the other side.
So you're rooting to rise, you're pressing into the ball. Think about it, pressing into the ball. Woo, nice, heated up abdominals for me. And pressing into the ball, and pressing. One more time, just like this first.
And then go over, feel that beautiful thoracic extension. Scratch any itches that need to be scratched. That's a little bit of a rest. Lift again. This time, take your arms wide to the side.
And we're gonna practice like we did when we were holding the ball in the hand. You're gonna lift and you're gonna reach, and lift and reach. Now, if I were to come all the way over, I would fall off the ball. So we're trying to figure out how far we can go. Lift and reach without falling off the ball, okay.
Couple more times, please. It feels really nice and juicy in my abdominals. One more time each side. And lift, good. Hands behind the head, lower yourself down, and relax for a moment there.
Here, feel free to roll a little bit back or roll a little bit forward so you can find a place where it feels really delicious to be. Let your arms perhaps go to the side or straight overhead, and breathe for me. As you breathe, will you think of sending your breath to your back lungs, to your back ribs, to the ball? Perhaps you'll sway your legs a little bit side to side, wherever you are, wherever your hands need to be for that. You don't need to do the sway, I'm just giving you an option.
Just a little bit of an off center feel might release something for you. And then here, gather your hands, or gather your head in your hands. Lift your head and chest a little bit. Make sure that you are in a comfortable position to roll up. So I'm gonna roll myself back a little, so that gives me the support I need to be able to then roll up with ease to a sitting position.
Then you'll reach around, and you'll hold onto your ball. And we are going to sit on this lovely ball, which may not be the favorite thing for all people, but I happen to really like the instability that it creates, and the challenge that it creates as a result. So I feel that it's a little easier for people to have the legs bent in a diamond shape. So if that's where you need to be, just try to be here, and see if you can find your ability to balance here and be comfortable. What I love about the ball is it really helps me identify where I tend to lean on my pelvis.
So where I'm wobbly, I know it's like I'm not grounding well enough on that side. So let's see if we can entertain the idea now of straightening the legs in the spine stretch type position. You can flex your ankles if you'd like, and really sit up tall here. Take your arms out in front of you, and we're gonna do some spine stretch. Inhale, exhale to curl forward one vertebrate a time.
Find that nice little wobble, wobble, wobble for me, that's showing me my instability. And then roll yourself back up, and sit tall. Let's do a couple more like that. Inhale. You use a breath to roll down.
You can breathe when it makes sense to you. I cue breath outta habit at this point, I care less about when you breathe, I just care that you're breathing, and that you're thinking about deep breaths. Let's do two more. Rolling down, enjoying the support from your core, the stretch in your back. The challenge that the ball offers as far as balance goes.
And let's do one more, please. I have to consciously put attention on my left side to keep it weighted, otherwise I'll roll off over to the right. It's quite funny to feel. So now, here, let's take the arms wide, and we'll twist in one direction. And then you'll do a version of the saw.
I don't need it to be super choreographed, but I'd like you to see if you can reach around to your pinky toe. You could always put your hand down on the floor, which is what I feel compelled to do to help me create just a little more rotation here. And then come up and unwind. We're just getting used to twisting here. So twist, and then see if you can reach your pinky finger toward your pinky toe.
You could always touch wherever you need to. Feel free to put your hand on the floor to give you just a little support to maybe be able to reach a little deeper. That feels really nice to me. Again, it's very clear where I tend to adjust my pelvis. So go ahead and twist again, and we're gonna reach.
We're just gonna do three there. You can also take your hand behind your back, and stretch a little deeper there if you'd like. Come up, and unwind. We're gonna twist, and we're gonna reach, So hand to the floor, or maybe behind your low back for a little extra shoulder stretch. And up, and unwind.
And one more time. Make sure you're breathing so you might go right into that. Reach with the arm. And up, and unwind, and right into that reach so that suits you. The other thing that the ball really is a nice offering, is it gives you a little more height so you might get a little less tired.
a little higher up seat, if you will. Bring your feet close together. I find completely together is a little too much of a challenge for me. So I'm giving myself the grace of about two or three inches between my feet. Sit up straight.
Feel free to keep your hands down should you need. You wanna feel the support from your front and your back body. And then do you feel like you can balance here? And should you feel like you can balance, let's try hands behind the head. Press the head into the hands.
Spreading your elbows, east, west. We're all kinds of wobbling around for this, sister. We're gonna twist, and we're gonna unwind. Woo, and we're gonna twist. You can feel free to use a nice, zesty, adventurous breath if you'd like, but I feel like if I move too quickly, I might just fall off the ball, and I'll own it.
I'm gonna try though. Are You ready, shall we go a little faster? Ah da, da, da, woo. Da, da, da, da. All kinds of things showing up here.
But the wobbling is fun. It feels a little challenging, a lot challenging. It feels a little fun, how about that? The wobbliness for me. One more time, please.
Ba ba, ba ba, back to center. Go ahead and release that. Take the ball out from underneath you. You might wanna scooch forward just a bit so we can roll back again. This is going under our pelvis on our spines here.
So roll back one vertebrae at a time. Find yourself on the mat comfortably. Hoist the pelvis up, and place the ball underneath the pelvis. Again, find that still point where you can relax a little bit. Knowing that this will be significantly more challenging, if you can have the ball a little bit more up your back so there's a little bit of downward motion from your pelvis.
So if you can put your pelvis tailbone down a little into an extended, a hyper-extended spine, you'll feel more here. But if that doesn't feel good, you do you, please. So I've got my pelvis slightly anterior. I'm grounding into the ball to feel my front body working. And then here's where I'm going to decide if I can float my legs up.
Keeping my knees a lot bent right now, and lower down. So I'm keeping very bent knees 'cause it's just a little easier. Floating the legs up, and then down. So I'm gonna float the legs up, I'm gonna stay. Keep the legs there at about perpendicular to the ceiling.
Press into the ball to curl your pelvis toward your face. Put the pelvis down, lower the legs down. Again, legs, pelvis, pelvis, legs. Again. Find your breath.
And if you wanna challenge yourself, give it a go with no hands by your side. See if you can manage that. It's a little harder. Bring those knees closer to your body, then they come back, pelvis, legs. So I'm adding a little deeper extension, legs.
I'm curling my spine as far as I can. Then I keep going with my legs, so I'm in a deep ball shape. My hands are floating, yours could be down. And then I'm gonna put my pelvis back where it came from. And take my legs home.
One more like that. Up, we're curling, we're bringing it in. And let's stay there, and give your legs a hug. You can feel free to roll side to side. If you don't feel safe, simply keep your hands on the floor.
And then find a place where your pelvis can relax comfortably on the ball. Legs can come to a tabletop, and then up to the ceiling. Let's externally rotate the legs, doing a frog shape. You can flex your ankles or point your toes, your choice. For some reason I feel like pointing my toes right now, I may change my mind.
You can also challenge yourself by bringing your hands up to the ceiling, your choice. You're gonna inhale, I'm gonna flex my feet, and I'm gonna point my feet. How about that? My knees are bending and flexing feet, and then I'm pointing my feet as I straighten. Let's do a couple more like that.
It's funny, 'cause my hands sort of wanna do with what my feet are doing right now. I don't care too much about the feet, that was just for fun, my friends. Keep your legs nice and straight. Let's go ahead and rotate to parallel alignment. If you wanna keep your arms up to the ceiling, great.
If you wanna put them down, put them down. We're gonna do a split. One leg forward, one leg back, and then change. Now, check out this. We're gonna go opposition arm.
So opposite arm is leg is up, the other arm goes down. We're working our cross patterning. Add a little pulse of the legs if you want, or keep them still if you want. We're playing balance. And this should feel quite nice on your body.
If it doesn't feel good, you can always do it with your arms down, or you can do it with no ball under your pelvis. One more time each side, please. And then take your two legs up, rest your two arms down. Let's go back to external rotation, and find a nice opening shape so that you're getting a little bit of stretch, and then pull those feet back together. And again, opening, and pull those feet back together.
And two more like that, and pull back together. And one more. Let's try some circles, we're gonna go down a bit. Make sure you are in control, lots of abs there. Circle around and back up.
How far down can you go? Support, support, support, and around backup. One more time in that direction, please. And I don't think I feel like reversing today. Hug your knees into your chest.
Give yourself a little stretch through that back body, that should feel delicious. Go ahead and put your feet down. Take the ball out from underneath you. Oh, I always like to sit for at least a moment or two with that wideness in my pelvis. It feels so delicious after having it elevated like that.
I do have tightness in my back and in my sacrum, and I think it's important to enjoy for a moment, those positions. So let's go ahead and put the ball at the belly again. Hug it with your legs, hold with your hands, or not. And we're gonna see if we can rock and roll until we find ourselves upright. Hmm, now we're gonna do some beautiful side lying stuff.
Fun stuff, I think, I hope. Okay, so it's a little bit creative here. We're gonna place the ball underneath your low rib. I'm gonna say not your low rib. How about the middle of your rib cage?
You wanna make sure you're really comfortable. And I'm gonna begin with my bottom knee bent at 90-90. And I'm gonna begin with my elbow down, so I feel like I can be here. So stay for a moment, and just kind of feel like you're trying to be in a straight diagonal line. And then see if you can take your arm out to straight.
Maybe just resting with your fingertip there. Okay, so I'm looking for a straight line here, right? I'm gonna take the other arm overhead. Are you ready? We're gonna lift the arm up, and we're gonna hold there.
Beautiful oblique work here. Let's just try lifting and lowering that straight leg. My friends, I'm focusing on lengthening. Good, hold the leg up. We're gonna try going a little forward, and a little back, and a little forward, and a little back.
Two more, please. Wow, nice challenge, I will say, I hope you agree. Go ahead and rest that for a moment, here's my gift for you. You're gonna let the ball kind of stay where it is. Let your back leg bend a little bit, and just kind of come around into a place, and you just sort of have to move where it feels good on your body so that the ball is supporting you in just a little bit of thoracic rotation here.
So my hands are where my hands wanna be, and I'm just enjoying a nice little release there. That feels really nice and supported. Okay, let's do that same thing on the other side. Wow, that was juicier than I remember. So let's go ahead and place this right underneath your ribcage.
Center of the ribcage. More near the underarm is gonna be probably a little bit better for most of us. The bottom knee is bent at about 90 degrees, hip and knee, and then the leg is straight. Gonna take, first I started here so you could all kind of get used to it, right? So if you feel comfortable with your your elbow down, then try bringing your arm all the way out, and just put a fingertip or two.
We're looking for this beautiful straight line. Take the arm overhead, that makes it a lot harder. You could always do it like this, okay. So here we go. We're gonna hold this shape, and then we're gonna lift that bottom arm up, and we're just gonna hold that wonderful shape.
Here we go, we're gonna lift the leg up, stretching longer, lifting the leg up and down. Next time I do this, we're gonna try it with two straight legs and see what happens here. I don't think you can lift both of them up, but I think the balance will be a fun challenge. Here we go. We're gonna take the leg forward.
Trying not to roll the ball around. Interesting how much more range I have on this side. That's very interesting, huh? That's surprising for me. Maybe I'm cheating somewhere, maybe not.
Here we go. The most important thing is that whatever it is you're choosing to do, it feels like a good idea to you. And this feels like a good challenge for me. And last one. Relax.
So I'm just gonna kind of find the right spot for my body to roll around and just create a little bit of a stretch, a little bit of a release in that forward position. So I'm kind of in a mermaid. And I'm actually putting effort into breathing into the ball. This is a nice, squishy ball, and it helps to wake up a little bit for me, my intercostals, and my ability to breathe in more areas of my ribcage, and my lungs, and whatnot. All right, we'll come up from there.
Now we are going to come to our knees. We're going to place the ball between the knee, thighs again rather. And here we are on our hands and on our knees. Hands are underneath your shoulders, knees are underneath your hips. And you're gonna round through your back, and extend through your spine.
Let's just do one more of those, just getting settled here. And then come through to a neutral centered position. Be sure that your head is back where it belongs. Walk your hands forward, maybe four or five inches so your arms are a little bit out in front of you. Bend your elbows, putting your elbows down.
So we're looking to have two ones, making an 11 with your forearms. Try to have them straightforward if you can. And then lean forward a little bit, and press back. So when I lean forward, I'm leaning into my wrists. Actually, my hands are sort of light.
And as I push back, I'm pushing back through my wrists and my mind. Just practicing that movement a little. And the goal would be that you could bring your forehead or your nose to touch the mat, bending your elbows so much. Mhm, just one more time, please. And then we'll come back with the hands underneath the shoulders, and place the ball for me behind one of your knees.
And you're gonna just bend that knee so that you can hold the ball. And here, we'll lift that leg up. So we're gonna lift the leg as much as you can. Externally rotate, allow the pelvis to move. Come back through, and come in.
So the leg goes back into extension, external rotation, lift, and through. If you feel comfortable, we're gonna add an arm, and the elbows and knee touch. The arm reaches, and the elbow and knee touches. Two more like that, please. And elbow and knee touch.
Just one more time. And we touch. Let's go ahead and change sides. So not the prettiest way to change, but change how it makes sense to you. Here we go.
Lift the leg up, find your hip extension first, and then you'll externally rotate and allow the pelvis to move, and then come through. Let's try that again. Hip extension, rotation, and pelvis. So we'll do it one more time. And then if you feel comfortable, you'll add the arm to it.
So here we go. We're reaching an arm out as the leg goes back, and the knee and the elbow touch. Just breathe. Nice cross patterning. So habitual for me to straighten my leg that sometimes I try to...
I almost lose my ball here. So it takes a little bit of thought for me to not. We'll do just one more here, please. And go ahead and rest that. So now this lovely ball is going to assist us for our back extension.
It's going to be kind of work its way down the body. It's important that you pay attention to what feels good to you as I cue you through this. So I'm scooting back just so that I'll stay on my mat as I roll forward. And I'm gonna place the ball underneath my collarbones in my mind. Now, I'm just gonna kind of relax.
I'm gonna scooch a little bit more back. I'm gonna relax over. So my head, my head can kind of rest, my forehead is resting on the mat. My arms are wherever my arms wanna be. And please breathe into the ball.
Now, if you happen to have a really dense ball, a different type of ball, this may not feel very good, so you may choose not to do quite so much. The softness of this ball is truly okay for you to be right on the ribs like this. And if you really practice breathing into the ball, you may even feel some nice releases that you wouldn't otherwise feel. Hmm, now we're gonna work. Tuck the toes under, and just feel a little bit of support from your legs here for this first position.
I'm gonna have you change that in a moment. But bring your arms just a little bit down, so your hands are outside of your shoulders. And you're relaxing over the ball first, and then you're gonna press your chest into the ball to find extension. And it actually assists us quite beautifully. And then relax over.
Just breathe when it makes sense. We're gonna press into the ball to kind of assist into extension. So you're getting a little bit more upper thoracic extension. Hopefully a little support for that. You can even roll a little bit side to side.
And lower down. Giving a little bit of attention to the front body here. Nice, so now if you feel good there, and you wanna do a little more, you just walk your body forward an inch or so, and we go again. Now, at any point it doesn't feel good to you, I ask you to take the ball out, or do what you need to do. So we're gonna use the ball again.
We're gonna find first that thoracic extension, and we're gonna push into the ball to go into a bigger extension. For me, it just feels delicious. Barely using my arms here. I've got my toes tucked because it feels good to me. You're welcome to untuck your toes if you want.
And lift and enjoy. Perhaps you roll side to side, I get super beautiful feelings when I do that. And then roll down. So do you wanna go a little further, I do. Because the ball is not dense, it's super soft and gooey.
I can be right on my ribcage right there. On the xiphoid process, it's not gonna hurt anything. I'm on the ribs, I'm on the diaphragm. I relax over. Now, if this doesn't feel right to you, take it out, please, okay.
You're gonna push a little bit into the ball. Not a lot. I'm just waiting the ball to find my extension. And what it does for me is it gives me a really beautiful stretch through all that tissue at the top part of my abdominal cavity. And rolling over the ball.
And we can do it again. We're gonna lift. Now, if you feel safe, if you wanna continue on, you go forward. Again, I'm now smack dab in the center of my belly of my abdominal cavity. And when I relax over, it feels a little weird, but it feels also quite delicious and necessary.
Here, I'm gonna relax the feet, no longer tuck the toes. Take a couple of breaths, allowing things to soften. And then you're going to sort of press a little bit into the ball as you extend your spine. Then you're gonna use your arms to pull forward. And really, what that ball is doing is giving you just a little bit of feedback hopefully, and allowing you to go a little higher, a little assist, but also some lovely little stretches.
Lower down. We can try again. You could move forward again if you wanted to. You could stay right where you are. And for me, moving forward that extra bit gives me just such an easy lift to a lovely swan.
I've got my fingers tented, lowering down. I'm lifting, I don't even need my hands. I'm using them just to get that extra little bit of height. Looking around the room, it feels nice. And we'll do one more, please, my friends.
We're lifting, so I'm pushing into the ball. Gives me really lovely feedback in my core. Mm, I could do this all day long. Let's take that ball out, please, and make your way to a child's pose. Give yourself just a little bit of a break there.
(Sarah exhales heavily) Breathing in and breathing out. Mhm. So in your own time, make your way to a forward fold. And you kind of just take the ball with you for a moment. Dangle, and then roll yourself up to a standing position.
So we're gonna use this as a tool for balance and also for squatting. So make sure that you are comfortable with what I'm asking you to do. You'll have to wrangle the ball in a little bit. You're gonna put it out in front of you, and play. It's a little bit of a game, I think it's a fun game, but little bit of a game.
So I'm gonna put my heel basically on the ball, and the balls right basically just in front of my other leg. So it's a bit of a balance challenge and game here. Woo, there we go. Keep your eyes forward, Sarah. So I'm standing on one leg.
I wanna feel that my whole leg is involved. This other foot can push down a little bit, but if you push down too much, it's just gonna throw you off even more, which is part of why we're doing it. Take your arms out in front of you just for fun, and see how far you can bend comfortably here, and press up. So option one, you could just do that. And honestly, you can put your arms anywhere you want.
I just think out in front of us today gives us a little bit of use to kind of wobble around as needed. So now, here's the add-on. We bend the knee, we roll the ball behind us. As we keep bending, we decide if we can go all the way down, and come all the way back up. Let's add arms up, and arms like you're gonna touch the floor.
Maybe you do. I'm still looking forward, and all the way back up. So I've kept my shin rolling on the ball, I'm not coming all the way through. And all the way back up. Getting tired, here we go, we have one more.
Rolling down maybe, so we're doing a nice little single leg squat with just a little bit of assist from this gorgeous ball. Let's do the other side. So we'll go ahead and place the heel on the ball. And you have to kind of wrangle it in and find your spot. The ball is basically just in front of my other foot.
Find your balance. I don't mind being off balance in front of you guys. It's real. Life is off balance. How we recover is what it's all about, right?
Stand tall. Throwing my balance off a little bit here as well. Let's do the arms out in front of us at first, although that was much more challenging for me to balance, I found, which is why I liked using my arms organically. So try bending a couple times, and just see how you feel here. If you're committing to going all the way down, let's let the arms be free as you do.
So you're gonna lift up. And as you come down, you're gonna allow the arms to kind of be free, and see how far down you can go. Maybe you're gonna touch the floor. I'm still looking forward just for fun. And reaching up, and we're gonna go down.
My easier side, you can see that. It's like I just wanna do it quickly 'cause I can. Yeah, a couple more. Just find your pace, find your range. You do you.
Last one, please. Ah, a little off balance for you. All right, I'm gonna put this ball over here out of the way. Hopefully it'll stay put for me. And then we're gonna finish here with a few more stretches.
Take your arms high up to the ceiling. Feel a beautiful, open body, tall body stretch. Roll yourself down. Legs are parted or together, whatever feels right. Walk out to a downward dog shape and ab stretch.
Press your hips high toward the ceiling. Bend one knee, and stretch your hamstring, perhaps. Calf, whatever you feel. One leg at a time is really what I wanted to say. And just bend, and march, or change as it makes sense to you.
Getting a nice little stretch through that body. So you'll notice if you're watching me, I'm moving around. I don't want a perfect shape. I want a shape that suits your body. Bending both knees, look forward between your hands.
Choose to take one leg forward, standing powerfully on that front foot. Lift your body up, and see if you can find a wonderful lunge stretch. Breathing in, and breathing out. I'm gonna take the same arm that is leg behind me and reach up a little more. Taking my other arm around my back, and seeing if I can hold onto something somewhere.
Just to feel a little bit more rotation and a little bit of stretch. Bring your hands back to the floor. Send your leg behind you, pause for a moment. Sits bones or hips back to the ceiling. This time, instead of bending, can you try shifting side to side?
So I'm actually lifting my heels and moving them to one side to stretch. Lifting my heels, and then moving them to the other side, so I'm getting a really beautiful side body stretch. Hold whatever side you're on, and feel your weight on. Same arm as foot, same arm as foot. So just shifting side to side through this.
And then try opposite arm as foot. There's one that makes a lot of sense for me. The other one feels a little less interesting, but just try opposite arm as foot, whatever that means to you. And then changing, opposite arm as foot. So back through center, we're gonna take the heels to one side, and just shift side to side.
So same arm as foot, shifting. Do you remember which leg you lunged? I lunged with my right leg, we have to do the other side still. And now opposite arm as foot. Opposite arm as foot.
And notice what you feel. So it's very different for me on the two sides. Come back up, heels are lifted. Look between your hands. I'm gonna step my left foot forward into a lunge.
And then I'm gonna stand myself up nice and tall. Hmm, and breathe and stretch. Now, we keep the same arm as leg is behind us up, and we take the other arm around. Perhaps wherever it makes sense, but I like to hook it on my other leg. Opening through my chest, and just creating a little bit more stretch.
A little extension of the stretch breath. So the size of the lunge should suit you. Certainly, if it needs to be more narrow, make it more narrow. Mhm, and then one more time, let's come down. Bring your two feet back, hips are high.
Walk your hands to your feet. Dangle for a breath, relax your head, relax your jaw. Relax your knees if you want. So I like to sometimes take my legs a little wider, and kind of bounce around a little bit. Make sure that I can be here with dynamic ease.
It's so important the stretches that we're in, they feel good, but it's not that hard for your body to be here. So if it is, you might change your picture, and rest your legs, your arms on your legs or something so you can feel something else with ease. And then roll yourself up to a standing position, please. And stand for me for a couple breaths with your palms open, your heart open. Let's actually move the arms, inhale up, and exhale down.
And inhale up. One last time, we'll reach. Let the other arm just sort of drip down by your side. Notice what you feel, notice how it feels different. And then change sides.
So lovely, when I put my arm up, I can feel the extension of my stretch all the way down into my waist, into my leg. Remember to be patient, and to be curious about what you feel. Breathing in, soften your eyes. As you exhale, grow a little taller, lighter. Inhale through your nose.
And with your exhale, grow a little taller, be a little lighter, a little looser. One more breath. And then when you're ready, awaken your eyes. And I thank you so very much for playing with me. I will see you next time.