Daily routines, yes we all have them. Whether or not it’s a morning yoga practice or something as simple as brushing your teeth, routines are a part of our daily lives. Ever since self myofascial release was introduced to me by Yoga Medicine®’s 500-hour advanced teacher training, it has become a daily practice for me. The best part is it doesn’t take long at all.
Self myofascial release is a practice that involves the use of balls, blocks, foam rollers, and many other tools to target trigger points, areas of restriction, or limitations in range of motion on the body. Practicing a few techniques a day can provide so much relief in the body.
Here are 3 myofascial release techniques I recommend you try today and add into your daily routine. These can be done throughout your day or all at once. For this practice you will need one or two myofascial release balls or tennis balls.
1. Wake Up Call: Release the Feet
One of the first things I do in the morning is a quick release of the feet. It’s the perfect start to my day. Grab your myofascial balls to begin to release the feet, one foot at a time. Remember to incorporate deep breaths while rolling. Take a few minutes on each side working the heel, arch, and ball of the foot in a rolling or side-to-side motion. Repeat second side.
2. Mid Day Hip Release
If you’ve been sitting a lot today, take five minutes to promote some movement, hydration, and release in the tissues surrounding the hips. Either lying on your back with the knees bent and the feet hip width apart or from the seat, place one ball into the center of your gluteus maximus on the right side. Take 10-15 breaths moving the ball around this area and alongside the sacroiliac joint to relieve any tension that may exist. Then, placing the ball along the outside of the hip, allow the ball to sink into any tenderness that may reside in the outer hip. Take 10-15 breaths. Add a second ball to support or place a blanket over the balls if the pressure causes restriction into your breath. Repeat second side
3. End of the Day Shoulder Release
Unwind your postural tendencies i.e. driving, working on the computer or phone, or carrying children. This is a great way to release any tension that has accumulated throughout your day in the upper back and shoulders. Lying on your back, bend your knees and place the feet hip width into the floor. Pressing through the feet, lift your hips and slide a block under the sacrum. With your hand, palpate the skin that sits right above your shoulders. Grab your 2 balls and place them on your back. The balls will feel as if they could potentially slip out. Bring your hands by your sides and take a few deep breaths allowing the balls to sink into your tissues. On an inhale begin to move the arms up and back towards the head, taking deep breaths. As you move your arms, notice any areas of tenderness or restriction. If you do feel that tenderness, allow the arms to linger in that space and take a few deep breaths. Continue to move through a gentle range of motion for 2-3 minutes. This can also be modified standing up against a wall.
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About the Author
Allie Geer is a prenatal certified yoga teacher based out of Boulder, Colorado, who is currently participating in Yoga Medicine's 500/1,000 hour advanced teacher certification. She specializes in myofascial release and holds workshops around the Boulder area. For more information please visit her website: www.alliegeeryoga.com.