Let’s play ball!
Grab a $2 red ball from the children’s section at Target and get your body moving. Every time I incorporate this ball in my practice, I find myself feeling like a kid again and shaking like a salt-shaker. There are so many ways to have a ball, I love to hop right into handstands to come into my breath and body.
Start with frog jumps. Squeezing the ball in a shortened down-dog position, gaze forward and hop up like a frog - keeping the ball. It doesn’t matter how high your legs go, eventually you’ll find your hips above your shoulders, hugging everything into your midline (from head to tailbone, front to back) into balance in this frog-like handstand.
After about 10-15 frog jumps, grab the ball with palms facing each other for a few rounds of sun salutations, setting it to the side whenever your hands touchdown in the flow. Rising into chair pose, opening the shoulders by reaching the ball behind the back. The heart is lifted forward and upward, like cobra.
Coming into triangle, Trikonasana, hug the ball above your head lengthening your spine toward the back heel and the crown of your head toward the front toes pointed at 12 o’clock. Opening both sides of your body, taking the side crunch out of the the posture. Feel long and strong, your core will feel like fire!
Lay on your belly for your Super Woman pose. Grab the ball and extend your arms out like the hero you are, lifting the legs - keeping them at hip-width distance to protect the lower back. This is a beautiful back-strengthener.
Navasana, boat pose, is the one that I say, “hurts-so-good”. Take the ball in-between your hands or ankles. Today, I opted for ankles to give my hamstrings some extra support and stretch. Lower down to low boat back up into high boat, holding for 5 breaths. While in high boat, I like to assist the knife-edge of my feet pulling them toward the earth for a gentle stretch in the achilles, calves, and hamstrings. 10 reps.
Coming into the calming part of playing ball, invert yo’self! Tripod headstand pikes. As slow as you can go, press up from the earth to hips. Reps of 10-20 for a wonder woman finish. Lowering down into child’s pose for your final rest.
Get playful. Have a ball!
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