Tawanda's Seated Yoga With A Ball

This is a Ball pattern from www.turnstep.com. (pattern 14359)

Here's Sun Salutations PLUS a few more poses, using a CHAIR and a STABILITY BALL. This is an extraordinary combination especially for those with movement limitations that prevent them from practicing poses in their more traditional expressions.

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana) - Seated in chair with the ball. Sitting in the center of the chair, with the feet hip width apart and the knees directly above the ankles, make the abdominals firm and gently lift the muscles of the pelvic floor upward. Lightly contract the gluteals, hamstring, quads and calves and notice a lightness to your sitting. Keep the spine long, and the head balanced over the top of the shoulders. Pull the top of the shoulders back and relax them. Lengthen through the arms, elbows and wrist. Spread the finger wide over the ball and sense how much pressure into the ball is "just enough" and not too much. Hold it confidently and with easy lengthened fingers. Sense the entire surface of the fingers and palms touching the ball, equally on the right and left hands. Look straight ahead and soften your facial features.

2. Upward Hand Pose (Urdhva Hastasana) - Seated in chair with the ball. Raise the arms overhead and press the hands into the sides of the ball. Drop the shoulders while lengthening though the hands. Bring the spine to its tallest position. Gaze is forward or slightly upward.

3. Forward Bend (Uttanasana) - seated in chair with ball. Sitting on the front of the chair with knees over the ankle joints, lightly grip the ball between the calfs and thighs. Press feet firmly into the floor and lengthen the spine upward. On an exhale breath, bend from the hips, keeping the spine as straight as possible. Relax the back of the neck and the top of the shoulders. Inhale lengthen, exhale deepen the stretch.

4. Four-Limbed Staff (Plank) Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana) - Seated in chair with ball. Shift hips to the front of chair. Position hands on the outside top of the ball, fingers spread. Keeping length through the spine, walk the feet back to a comfortable place the below the hips. Spread the toes and broaden the ball of the foot into the floor. Heels will be lifted. Keeping the abdominals and back muscles strong, flex forward from the hips, while rooting the upper arms into the shoulder joints. Don't let shoulder blades collapse up nor forward. Flex the elbows towards the outside of the ribs, lowering from the hips. Bring the front lower ribs toward the ball. Look ahead, without collapsing the back of the neck. Linger only as you feel strong in the pose.

5. Upward Facing Dog (or Cobra) Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) - Seated in chair with ball (in lap). Seated in the center of the chair seat with feet under the hips, flip into the tops of the toes (plantar flex at the ankle), pointing the toes to the rear wall. Inhale, lifting the chest up, arching the upper back, squeezing the shoulders blades together and down. Ball is held at the front of the lap and arms are lengthened forward. Gaze is upward without collapsing the back of the neck.

6. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana) - Seated in chair with ball. Seated on the front of the chair, legs stretches out in front, feet hip-width apart or slightly wider, ankles (dorsi-) flexed. Rolling ball down the legs and adapting to individual flexibility, lengthen the spine and tilt the tailbone back and up to smooth out any rounding in the low back. Draw the navel in and upward. Lengthen through the arms, flex at the wrist gently pushing the hands into the ball. Ease the shoulder blades toward each other. Relax the back of the neck and the tops of the shoulders.

7. Lateral Spinal Flexion or Half-Moon Pose, Bikram Style (Ardho Chandrasana). - Improves flexibility in shoulders and lateral flexors of the spine. Just a few options...
1. Seated in Chair with Ball, a) ball on floor; b) ball under arm, leg abducted
2. Seated on Ball 3 hand positions: unilateral reach, namaste, interlocked fingers
3. Standing with Ball a) ball tucked at side b) ball overhead

8. Seated Spinal Twist (Bharadvajasana) - Seated in chair with ball. Sit sideways in the chair, close to the edge of the chair with the ball on the floor. Align the ankles under the flexed knees and gently adduct the legs into the ball. (This improves foundational stability at the hip). Reach the front arm behind the back, fingertips pointed away from the body, heel of the hand next to the coccyx. Other hand may rest on thigh or reach outward, or lightly hold onto the back of the chair. Inhale and lift the spine. Using the muscles and not the front hand slowly twist the spine towards the chair back, keeping the center of the head, shoulders, waist, and hips aligned. Gaze back as far as you can.

9. Boat Pose (Navasana) (1/2 Boat=Ardha Navasana) - Seated in chair with elevated leg(s). Begin by sitting slightly forward in the chair with the ball on the floor at your feet. Holding onto the chair seat, slowly lean back in neutral spine until your back comes in contact with the chair. Hold the neutral position of the back throughout, making sue that you are seated on your buttocks and not the sacrum and coccyx. Slowly lift one leg up onto the ball and straighten the knee. The other foot will be bent at a right angle on the floor. Gently ease the weight of the leg upward and away from the ball. Lifting from the hips, extend the chest away from the chair back. Continue to breathe. Exchange legs. Progress to both legs elevated on the ball.

10. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) - Seated chair with ball lifted overhead. To begin, position body in the front corner of chair with one leg off the seat and the other buttocks supported on the chair seat, knee aligned over the ankle. The ball will rest on the forward (innermost leg) thigh. Move the outside leg back and angle the toes of the back foot slightly forward. Press the outer border of the back foot down and lift the torso into balance. With hands on either side of the ball, lift it overhead with an inhale breath. Drop the shoulders while stretching the arms all the way through the finger tips. Engage abdominals to prevent excessive arching of the lumbar spine.

11. Eagle Pose (Garudasana) - Seated in a chair with adduction. Grip ball between legs and maintain gentle pressure throughout the pose. Center your shoulders over your hips. Open your chest and pull the shoulders back and down. Adduct the upper arms along a horizontal line. Cradle the right elbow above the left arm, rotate the thumbs forward and address shoulder alignment. Relax the muscles around the eyes and take 5 slow yoga breath cycles. (Can also be done seated on a ball, give a shout if you want the description for that one.)

12. Fierce Pose (Utkatasana) - Standing against wall with ball. Place the ball behind the small of the back. Feet are parallel and hip distance apart. Stand so that the tailbone will move back and slightly under the ball (towards the wall) as you squat. Go as low as is appropriate for your fitness level; keep the knees tracking in line with the 2nd and 3rd toes. Keep the spine erect and the chest open.

Peace, Tawanda



Added by Tawanda at 11:33 PM on Monday, May 24, 2004 EDT. Add to favorites (view favorites)
(Email: REcreationFitnS@aol.com)
From: Texas (USA)
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