Yoga on the Ball

Enhance Your Yoga Practice Using the Exercise Ball
By (author) Carol Mitchell

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Yoga on the Ball
Enhance Your Yoga Practice Using the Exercise Ball
By (author) Carol Mitchell

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Pages : 192

Book Size : 8 x 10

ISBN-13 : 9780892819997

Imprint : Healing Arts Press

On Sale Date : June 19, 2003

Format : Paperback Book

Illustrations : 240 b&w photographs and illustrations

Moving through yoga postures while using the exercise ball is meditation in motion. The exercise ball provides a cushioning base for the strong stretches and graceful movements of the yoga exercises, and with only a slight roll of the ball, the deep stretches can be altered to target different areas of the muscles.
Description

About Yoga on the Ball

Blends the ancient science of yoga with the unique training possibilities of the exercise ball to create an innovative and effective workout.


• A unique combination of Hatha Yoga asanas and ball work that builds lean muscles while providing natural stress relief.


• Includes a comprehensive workout adaptable to the needs of the beginner and those with a more advanced practice.


Written by Certified Medical Exercise Specialist Carol Mitchell, Yoga on the Ball combines the science of yoga with the technology of the exercise ball to create a workout that can be tailored to all fitness levels. Moving through yoga postures while using the exercise ball is meditation in motion. It allows you to engage several muscle groups simultaneously to create a total body workout and to lose weight naturally as your metabolism increases with special breathing techniques. The exercise ball provides a soft and cushioning base for the strong stretches and graceful movements of the yoga exercises, and with only a slight roll of the ball, the deep stretches can be altered to target different areas of the muscles.

The complete workout lets you choose between sculpting your muscles with cardiovascular and muscle-toning exercises or relaxing your body and mind with stretching and breathing exercises. Yoga on the Ball pairs breathing and movement to create a rejuvenating flow of energy that will realign your mind and body, leaving you feeling calm, strong, and centered.

Excerpt

Book Excerpt


Anatomy of the Shoulder Girdle
Given the shallow seating of the humeral joint, it is important to keep the tissues surrounding the shoulder joint flexible and strong. When a person is decidedly one-sided in a daily activity that includes even a small amount of weight bearing through the arms--carrying a briefcase, carrying an infant, playing tennis, cleaning the kitchen countertops--the muscles develop unevenly along the spine, and the attachments at the shoulder girdle of the dominant side become overused and strained. Yoga exercises on the ball that even out the weight bearing through both shoulder girdles help to address this imbalance.


In addition to shortening her Achilles tendon, the high heels were pulling Ellie's spine out of alignment and creating muscular imbalance in the shoulders. The right shoulder, which carried her overstuffed briefcase, was much stronger than the left; the only way Ellie could convey the heavy case was by hanging on to the handle with her right hand and wearing the long carrying strap over her right shoulder. The backpack that Ellie switched to would serve a few purposes. First, it would pull her back into extension--a standing-yoga version of the Cobra asana--and keep her shoulders level. Second, the strap of a briefcase would no longer be tearing into her shoulder, causing local muscle irritation and neck and upper back pain. The backpack we chose for Ellie had wheels so that she could pull it along when navigating through a building or airport, as long as she alternated arms frequently. Otherwise, neck and shoulder problems would continue to prevail due to overuse on one side of the body.

If Ellie had been able to maintain an uninterrupted schedule in her fitness routine she could have counteracted and prevented the effects of the new demands placed on her upper body by making simple adjustments to her workout regime. As it was, it took some time before we could reestablish the appropriate muscle balance in Ellie's body. We began the process by designing Ellie's fitness routine so that she avoided any exercises that would strengthen the chest and the front of the shoulders, as these muscles were already tight due to her daily activities. We concentrated instead on strengthening the hack and the posterior shoulders. With the use of the ball, Ellie began to establish balance in the spinal muscles by integrating hack-extension exercises, such as the Cobra asana and other yoga postures, into her routine. Strengthening the posterior shoulder muscles was accomplished by lifting and lowering the hips while in a reverse yoga Plank position. We strengthened her midback with repetitions of scapula retraction while in Half-Plank. The Fish pose, with arm variations, was perfect for stretching the body and developing flexibility and balance in the chest and front shoulder muscles.

Once we had some exercises in place that addressed the Ellie's muscle imbalances, we were able to move on and fine-tune her fitness routine. Proceeding without doing so would have left Ellie prone to further injury.

The Importance of Good Posture
Good posture can make us look taller and more svelte and can help prevent unnecessary wear and tear on the body. Our posture can even affect our mood. And as we learned in the last chapter, in order to feel good, both mentally and physically, we must be able to breathe well. We typically associate collapsed posture with depressed, discouraged states of mind. When we sit or stand present and erect we are able to breathe better because the lungs have more room to expand within the rib cage. Breathing oxygenates the brain, lowering anxiety and creating a positive mind state. Often simply changing posture in order to stand or sit taller, in a confident posture, can make us feel more empowered and optimistic.

Yogis believe that prana, the body's life force, moves through the body more freely when the body is in proper alignment. With prana pulsing through the body's chakras and nadis, every cell in the body is healthier and more vibrant. The mind is sharper and more focused, and the nervous system functions more effectively. We are more in touch with our intuition and spirituality. Yogic theory would tell us that in this state we become connected with a divine intelligence--something beyond our own persona! power where synchronicity and serendipity prevail. Yogis believe that in this state we are more able to actualize and move toward our highest potential and personal destiny. It is not only the five-thousand-year-old disciplines of yoga and martial arts that dictate the value of optimal posture. More recent bodywork practices, such as rolfing and the neuromuscular practices developed by Moshe Feldenkrais, F.M. Alexander, and Joseph Pilates also sing the praises of good body posture. Postural deviations caused by abnormalities in the bones cannot be improved by exercise and are permanent. However, when poor posture is a result of muscle imbalance and lack of postural awareness, we are able to correct the deviation with education and appropriate exercise.
Table of Contents

Table of content


Introduction
   Yoga: Tradition and Innovation

1. Yoga and the Ball--A Dynamic Duet

2. The Body and the Breath
Breath Check • Diaphragmatic Breathing • Modified Child Pose (Mudhasana) • Prana Power • Prayer Breath

3. Finding Postural Ease with Yoga Ball Asanas
Postural Setup: Ideal Alignment • Tummy Compressions • Half Plank with Uddiyana Bhanda • Abdominal Squeeze (Akunchan Prasarana) • Meditative Yogi

4. That All-Important Warm-Up Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)

5. Yoga Asanas-Striking the Balance Between Strength and Flexibility
Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana) • Seated Forward Fold • Cobra (Bhujangasana) • Down Dog (Adhomukha Svanasana) • Reverse, or Inclined, Plank (Purvottanasana) • Camel Pose (Ustrasana) • Forward Fold with Spinal Twist (Prasarita Padottanasana 1) • Yoga Chair Pose (Uktatasana) • Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) • Crow Pose (Kakasana) • Modified Locust Pose (Salabhasana) • Side Plank or Arm Balance (Vashishthasana)• Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana) • Bridge Pose (Sethu Bhandasana) • Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1) • Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana 2) • Extended Side Angle (Parshvakonasana) • Warrior 1 with Prayer Twist

6. Body Balance, Mind Balance
Knee Lift • Tree Pose (Vrikshasana) • Eagle Pose (Garudasana) • Side Plank (Vashishthasana) • Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana) • Hand to Big Toe Posture (Utthita hasta Padangusthasana) • King Dancer (Natarajasana) • Candle Pose (Vaparita Karani Mudra) • Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana 3)

7. The Advanced Postures
Supine Straight Leg Spinal Twist • Yoga Chair Pose with Squat • Balancing Yogi • Yoga Plank with Arm Work • Yoga Plank with Push-Ups • Advanced Prayer Roll Out • Advanced Bridge with Roll Out • Advanced Bridge with Roll Out and Leg Raise • Side-LyingPlank • Side-Lying Plank with Twist • Advanced Down Dog • Yoga Plank Hover • Rolling Tabletop

8. Relaxation and Restoration
Modified Fish (Matsyasana) • Yoga Side Stretch • Standing Cat (Bidalasana) • Lion Pose (Simhasana) • Neck Stretch • Spinal Twist (Maricyasana) • Kneeling Cat (Bidalasana) • Thread the Needle • Pigeon Pose (Raja Kapotasana) • Reclined Hamstring Stretch (Supta Padangusthasana) • Cobbler Pose (Baddha Konasana) • Reclining Spinal Twist • Rocking Child Pose • Rocking Child Pose with Neck Massage • Hip Lift • Modified Corpse Pose (Shavasana)

9. Putting It All Together

Appendix
   Major Muscles and Their Functions

Resources

Ball and Video Ordering Information

Acknowledgments

Author Bio
Carol Mitchell (1959-2006) was a Certified Medical Exercise Specialist and international fitness trainer whose methods have been featured on television and radio and in newspapers and the Canadian Medical Journal. She released two videos and was known for her seminars on creating mind-body fitness, which she presented to corporations, yoga and fitness practitioners, coaches, and other health practitioners in both the United States and Canada.
Reviews

Reviews

Book Praise

Book Praise

"I highly recommend this fabulous guide for enhancing your own yoga practice."
Sasha Reyes, Natural Beauty & Health, October 2003

“Carol Mitchell has done a superb job of weaving ancient tradition with modern innovation. A must-read for all yoga enthusiasts!”
Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., author of Meditation


Yoga on the Ball combines the ancient wisdom of yoga with modern techniques to create a unique approach to building strength and flexibility. A fun, simple, and healthy way to fitness.”
Judith Hanson Lasater, PH.D., P.T., author of Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times

“I recommend this book to anyone looking for a new way to practice yoga.”
Richard Usatine, M.D., author of Yoga Rx


“At last! A new program that merges the ancient art of yoga with the modern science of exercise physiology. In an easy-to-use format Yoga on the Ball provides it all--training for flexibility, strength, and endurance of body, mind, and spirit.”
Sam Dworkis, author of Recovery Yoga

“A clear, comprehensive, and user-friendly book that facilitates a deeper understanding of yoga and its benefits while traveling an unconventional path. The yoga practices are equally accessible to beginners and skilled practitioners, providing useable knowledge for every reader. Highly recommended.”
Leigh Crews, national spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise
Back Cover

Back Cover Copy

YOGA / BODYWORK

“Carol Mitchell has done a superb job of weaving ancient tradition with modern innovation. A must-read for all yoga enthusiasts!”
--Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., author of Meditation As Medicine

Yoga on the Ball combines the ancient wisdom of yoga with modern techniques to create a unique approach to building strength and flexibility. A fun, simple, and healthy way to fitness.”
--Judith Hanson Lasater, PH.D., P.T., author of Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times

“I recommend this book to anyone looking for a new way to practice yoga.”
--Richard Usatine, M.D., author of Yoga Rx

“At last! A new program that merges the ancient art of yoga with the modern science of exercise physiology. In an easy-to-use format Yoga on the Ball provides it all--training for flexibility, strength, and endurance of body, mind, and spirit.”
--Sam Dworkis, author of Recovery Yoga

“A clear, comprehensive, and user-friendly book that facilitates a deeper understanding of yoga and its benefits while traveling an unconventional path. The yoga practices are equally accessible to beginners and skilled practitioners, providing useable knowledge for every reader. Highly recommended.”
--Leigh Crews, national spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise

Medical exercise specialist Carol Mitchell offers an innovative new workout that combines the science of yoga with the technology of the exercise ball. Executing yoga postures while using the exercise ball is true “meditation in motion.” It allows you to engage several muscle groups simultaneously while challenging your balance and spatial awareness in order to create a total-body workout. With only a slight roll of the ball, the deep yoga stretches can be altered to target different areas of the muscles, allowing each yoga posture to be as beneficial as possible.

Yoga on the Ball presents 67 postures--from introductory to advanced poses--detailed in step-by-step instructions and accompanied by more than 225 photographs. You can customize your practice, choosing between sculpting your muscles with toning and strengthening poses or relaxing your body and mind with stretching and breathing exercises. The author also offers three progressive yoga workouts for all levels of ability.

CAROL MITCHELL is a certified medical exercise specialist and international fitness trainer whose work has been featured in the Canadian Medical Journal. She is the educational director for the International Society of Yoga Education and teaches seminars on mind-body fitness to corporations, yoga and fitness practitioners, coaches, and health practitioners worldwide. She lives in Ontario.

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