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Get on the Ball: Backbend

It is no secret that I love working out with an exercise ball. Not only do I use a ball for core work, but one also makes a great yoga prop too. An exercise ball can support you in many stretches - like the wheel, aka backbend.

Since the backbends can sometime feel too intense, using an exercise ball as support can help you learn the pose. Plus it is just a great stretch for the front of the body!

Watch this video to see how to use the ball for your backbend.

Want some specifics on how to backbend with a ball? Then

  • Start sitting on the ball, with your spine nice and long. Use your feet to help you stay balanced.
  • Slowly walk your feet out a few inches, and lie your back on the ball, feeling the soft cushiony air supporting the natural curve of your spine.
  • Keep your arms at your side on the ball, or work on straightening your arms overhead towards the ground.
  • Press into your feet and work on planting your palms. Now you are in full backbend, also called Wheel, or Urdhva Dhanurasana in Sanskrit.
  • Stay here for as long as you'd like, taking deep breaths and allowing the spine to elongate.
  • To release, slowly press into your hands, shift weight into your feet, and lift your torso back up to a seated position on the ball.
  • Fit's Tips: You can also try variations where you walk your feet out away from the ball to extend your body even more. Or you can practice more advanced moves like lifting one leg up into the air and then the other. You can also try pressing your hands and feet into the ground as if you were lifting into backbend without the ball. All of these variations allow you to stretch your back in a relaxing way without using much strength.

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