So I got a yoga ball for Christmas from my dear Mushpa! (Thank you to her, specially for inflating it as she tells me it was quite tedious and it took forever!)
My yoga ball is also called a stability ball, exercise ball, fitness ball, but for today’s purpose I will refer to it as my yoga ball.
It is from Black Mountain Products and it is a professional grade stability ball that is “exceptionally durable…designed for gym, office and home use. Each pro series ball is designed to hold 2000 lbs. of static weight and is Anti-burst resistance up to 1000 lbs. of static weight. Black Mountain Products gym balls can improve your core strength, balance and overall agility. Each exercise ball is designed with dense walls for the ultimate support and durability for any use.” Check out this video for a demo. But you of course can get it from anywhere you’d like, in any color you’d like!
Depending on your height, you can choose from several sizes including 45 cm (5′ and under) 55 cm (5′ to 5′ 6″ tall) 65 cm (5’6″ to 6′ tall) and 75 cm (6′ to 6 5″) and 85 cm (6′ 5″ or taller).
If you want to use it as an OFFICE CHAIR ALTERNATIVE, some awesome perks include:
- Forces proper spine alignment since you have to keep a straight spine to say balanced.
- Causes you to change positions often, and not stay stagnant in a regular sitting position.
- Fitness is a roll away…If you need a mini workout or stretching session, your equipment is right there! Convenience!
- Improves balance due to the constant readjustment your body does throughout your working day.
- Works your core muscles without you even working hard for it, meaning it also burns some extra calories.
- The constant movement improves circulation=more energy throughout the day.
- It’s Fun! Bounce while you work…need I say more?
I searched throughout the internet for a proper yoga ball practice to better my daily yoga practice and poses, and found many videos and blogs, but not one that encompassed all I was looking for… So I have gathered here the BEST 10 Yoga Ball Exercises to Improve Your Daily Practice! I included my cute drawings to help you get a visual. 🙂
- Moving Forward Plank: You start with your ball at the end of the mat and set your belly on it, and slowly walk your hands to the front of the mat. You can stop at your thighs, or for a bigger challenge move further down to your shins. Make sure your elbows align with your shoulders. Hold 10-30 seconds. Advanced: Do so with one leg up, hold, and then switch legs and hold.
- Core Sit Up on a Ball: Begin by laying on the ball with your hands in your head, with bent knees at a 90 degree with your feet on the floor. Roll yourself forward and up, and back. One sit up. Then do it again. 20 times.
- Back Stretch to Wheel: This one is delicious but can be intense. Lay on your ball with your feet on the ground ( bent knees at 90 degrees) and start rolling back with your arms back as if you were to fall back on wheel. Your arms don’t have to touch the ground. Reach for the ground for a deeper stretch. Advanced: If you are feeling like a baller, then use the ball to bend into a full wheel pose!
- Feet + Hands Play Ball: Lay down with the ball between your feet. Lift the ball with your feet and pull towards your hands, and grab the ball with your hands. Hold the ball all the way back and before it touches the ground bring it back to meet your feet again. Let your feet and hands play ball! Advanced: Do this while you hold your head up, and every time you bring your feet down, don’t let them touch the ground.
- Back Stretch On your Knees: Place the ball in front of you about a hand print away, and place your hands on the side of the ball facing your belly. Start pushing the ball forward and bend forward, until you feel the stretch on your back while you push your tailbone up. It should feel super nice!
- Back Stretch Standing Up: This is the same concept as above, but you start standing up with your hands right above the ball, bending forward. Then roll the ball forward to create a stretch in your back.
- Circle Hips: Sit on your ball with your legs slightly open to create balance, and start rolling your hips in a circular motion. This one is fun! Reverse direction. Advanced: Add your arms by lifting them straight up with palms facing each other. SURPRISE STRETCH!: This is a stretch I saw from youtuber Marlita McKinney (minute 7:22), and is a Free Form Stretch! She does it so beautifully, and she gets so into it its almost like a modern dance performance. So put a good jam on, feel your energy and move and flow to where your soul calls!
- Plank with Leg + Arm Lifts: Lay belly down on your ball to a plank. Shoulders aligned with hands. Lift your RIGHT leg up, and your LEFT arm up, and hold. Move back to plank, and do the other side: LEFT leg up, and RIGHT arm up. This is a tough one in terms of balancing, but with practice we can make it work!
- Yoga Pike on Your Knees: This is a challenge, but super fun! Start with the ball in your belly to a plank (Exercise 1. Moving Forward Plank) Start raising your hips up with control while the ball moves forward and your tailbone is pushing to the sky, and bring your knees in towards your chest. Then pull back and reverse the direction to plank. This video is helpful. Advanced: You can lift one leg while you do this, and then the other.
- Full Pike to Head Stand!: The final and most challenging, but when we master it, so rewarding! So same concept as above, but instead of bringing you knees in, you pull your tailbone up and roll to your toes! Make sure your shoulders are aligned with your hands, and your butt aligned with your head. This will prep you for a full hand stand. Advanced: Move from the tip of your toes, into a full headstand! Voila!
SHAVASANA with YOGA BALL: Last but not least you can always take you Shavasana with your legs up on the ball!
These are my 10 Best Stability Ball Exercises to Improve your Yoga Practice!