by: Michelle Arington
After reading Jana and Leah's posts about my favorite subject, posture, I thought I'd add an effective Yamuna® Body Rolling routine to restore and maintain effortless posture and shoulder alignment. All you will need is a Pearl Yamuna® Ball and a little bit of time and space.
Recently, I had the pleasure of sharing Yamuna® Body Rolling with the dance students at the UGA Dance Department. We worked on areas that are often a challenge for dancers. Hamstrings, calves and hip flexors are common areas of tension and tightness, which can lead to injury. A large number of the students wanted to know how to work on their shoulders in order to improve posture as well as take the stress, strain and tension out of their necks and upper backs.
Yamuna® Body Rolling is a cutting-edge, one-of-a-kind, and therapeutic self-care technique that empowers you to cultivate immediate and sustainable change in the body. Yamuna® Body Rolling allows you to release retracted muscles, restore function and wake up under used muscles while creating alignment and space in the joints. A specially designed Yamuna® ball is used to apply traction with your body weight and roll out muscles in the direction of its muscle fibers from origin to insertion. Unlike other popular foam rolling or tennis ball muscle release techniques, Yamuna® Body Rolling follows the natural order of alignment and structure in a methodical way. This method trusts and honors the innate logic and intelligence of the body to self-correct and self-heal. Dedicated practice quickly restores balance and stimulates muscle memory for positive and permanent change. Yamuna's method allows for a complete release of muscle while also stimulating bone. This direct bone stimulation takes impact and trauma out of the bone and creates both bone density and flexibility.
Below is one simple and effective 15 minute routine to help restore posture. This routine works by lifting the sternum up and out of the diaphragm for easier breathing, releasing tight muscles across the chest and encouraging external rotation of the humorous for optimal shoulder alignment.
First, place a Pearl Yamuna® Ball at the center of your sternum. Take several slow, deep breaths, and allow the ball to melt and sink into your sternum. Relax and surrender your weight to the ball. Exhale, sink deeper into the ball and slide it up a little higher. Take several more deep breaths and melt into the ball a little more each time. Next, exhale and slide the ball up slightly higher. Lift your sternum and sink into the ball. Continue with the same breath and focus until you reach the notch at the center of the collarbones. Once you reach the center of your collarbones, drag the ball down with your hands into the notch between the clavicles as your head looks up. Gently stretch the skin and muscles of the front of your neck. Relax your jaw and breathe. (As demonstrated by the dancer in the upper left corner)
Next, extend your right arm out to the height of the shoulder, sink into the ball, and shift your body weight to the left, so the ball slides off center to the right.
Place your left hand on the ball, sink your weight into the ball and press the ball in the direction of your right shoulder. Do this while turning your head to the left. Continue to sink and slide the ball along the bottom edge of the collarbone. Take your time and breath into each point along the way, until the ball reaches the front of your shoulder.
With the ball now firmly underneath your shoulder and your weight in the ball, press your left hand into the floor and twist your body as you lean into the ball. Allow the ball to press your shoulder back. You should feel your right scapula press into your back. Also, you may feel a sight pinching in between your shoulder blades. Continue to twist as you move the ball down into the arm. Release the arm out of shoulder joint and externally rotate the humorous into a more neutral position. Roll about 2/3 of the way to the elbow and then come off of the ball.
Lie on your back in a balanced position and breathe. Notice what you feel. Become aware of the difference between each side.
Now, stand up and take a look at the differences. Chances are one shoulder and side of your body will look, feel and move entirely different than the other.
Can you tell which side of the sternum and shoulder this dancer just worked on? Which side looks like it has more space?
Now, complete the routine by returning the ball to the center of the clavicle once again. Follow the same order, sinking into the ball and sliding it along the bottom left edge of the collarbone. Assist traction by pressing your right hand into the ball and twisting your body when the ball reaches the shoulder. Continue to roll out into the left arm. Take your time and breathe into each point along the way.
Finish by lying on your back once again. Enjoy your breath and the expansion of the body. Stand up and observe how you look and feel.
If you'd like to try this out, contact Thrive to purchase a Pearl Yamuna® Ball and reach out to me for more personalized instruction!
Thank you and Roll On!