How to Sit on a Yoga Ball for Exercise

How to Sit on a Yoga Ball for Exercise

To some of us, taking care of our health has taken a back seat because, in reality, we are too busy working or taking care of our families. In spite these obstacles, it is a must to exercise, and one of the popular exercise regimes that you can try is yoga. Yoga can be intimidating at first, but there are a lot of free videos on the internet that you can check so that you can have an idea. Also, you will need props, and a perfect example is the yoga ball. You may not know how to sit on a yoga ball at first, but surely you’ll learn it as you continue your practice.

Nonetheless, in this article, we will shed some light on what is a yoga ball and how can you use it during yoga.

What is a Yoga Ball?

A yoga ball is otherwise known as a Swiss ball, gym ball, or Pilates ball. You have probably seen one of these in the gym or a fitness studio because there are a lot of exercise programs that benefit from its use. If in case you are not familiar, a yoga ball is a ball that is usually 14 to 34 inches in diameter. It is made of plastic, more specifically vinyl. Since it is a ball, naturally, it is filled with air; however, the amount of air pressure can be adjusted by filling it with more air or deflating it.

History

The yoga ball was first manufactured in 1963 by the Italian, Aquilino Cosani. He developed a manufacturing technique in making large balls that are made of burst-resistant plastic instead of rubber. He initially called it a “pezzi ball,” and it was sold under the brand name Gymnastik or Gymnik in Europe. Then, in the late 60’s a physiotherapist named Mary Quinton, who is from England, found out about the pezzi balls. She used it on her infant and newborn patients with cerebral palsy for their treatment programs.

Later on, the balls were used on adult patients with orthopedic issues in Switzerland. Then, American physical therapists saw the benefits of the ball during their visit to a Swiss clinic that is why they also started using it as part of their rehabilitation programs in the USA. Today, the Swiss ball or pezzi ball is incorporated in different exercise and rehabilitation programs.

How to Sit on a Yoga Ball for Your Practice

Incorporating a yoga ball in different poses allows you to push your limits. The yoga ball helps in strengthening the core and your balance. So, here are some poses that you can try.

  • Seated Twist

Instead of sitting on your yoga mat, make your twist more challenging by sitting on a yoga ball. That is because this will encourage your body to find its balance, and at the same time, it will exercise your core muscles.

You can do this pose by sitting straight on the ball with your legs apart. Then, twist your body to the right and place your left hand on the right knee to help you get deeper into the twist. It is important to have proper spine alignment while you twist, so keep your back straight at all times. Hold the pose for a few minutes then repeat the same process on your left side.

  • Boat Pose

Finding balance in a regular boat pose is already a challenge but doing it on a yoga ball makes it more difficult. However, this is a good pose to do on a yoga ball if you want to take your core workouts to the next level.

Start by sitting on a yoga ball with your legs together, and stay in this pose for a bit to find your balance. Once you’ve found stability, gently lift your legs as you would do in a typical boat pose. While doing such, slowly recline your torso. Place your arms on the side to help with your balance, but if you are really having difficulties, you may place your foot on the ground and recline your torso only. It is less challenging, but it still exercises the core muscles.

  • Seated Stork Pose

You can find more stability in this pose by placing the yoga ball against a wall or placing a chair that you can hold onto on the side. Start by sitting down on the ball and try to find your balance. Then, cross your right foot over your left knee. It will be initially shaky. Once you are stable, put your hands in a prayer position and raise it above your head. Do the same thing on the other side. This pose is great for strengthening the arm, core, and leg muscles.

  • Backbend

This is not really a seated pose, but it starts in a seated position. Find your balance by sitting first then slowly lie down with your feet planted on the floor. Get deeper into the pose by lifting your arms. Stay in the pose for a few minutes and relax. This is a great pose for those who are seated for hours because it provides relief to the back muscles. This is also great to do as a counterpose after doing crunches.

  • Seated Cat-Cow

This pose is basically a cat-cow pose but in a seated position. Start by simply sitting on the ball with your legs hip-width apart. Then, place your hands on your knee and do the cat-cow pose as you would normally do when you are on all fours. This pose is great for releasing the back muscles and opening the chest.

Final Words

Learning how to sit on a yoga ball and incorporating it into your regular practice has a lot of benefits. Although not really traditional, using this can help strengthen different muscles in the body.

The good is that you can use the yoga ball not only in seated poses but also in others so that you can make them more challenging. Likewise, it is important to challenge the body when exercising for you to increase your fitness level, and this ball can help you with that. Being fit and healthy does benefit not only the body but also the mind and the soul. Therefore, make an effort to eat healthily and exercise.

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