Yamuna® Body Rolling in restoring body alignment and release
Words: Ferina Natasya Aziz
Photos: Leora Acoca Goldberg
If you've heard of foam rolling, you must know there is another version of it and that is the Yamuna® Body Rolling method.
Similar to the foam rolling, this body therapy uses ball (instead of the foam roller, duh the name!) to restore your alignment, gives you a deep area massage on the body, and more. The mind works just as much as you are breathing in tandem with the 'rolling' movement.
Rolling using the Yamuna® technique is very different to how foam rolling is. Think of the foam roller as treating the body as one whole chunk of muscle whereas the ball (in various sizes) target the muscle in smaller surface area and getting into each joint space or vertebra. Hence the different size balls that can make the experience of 'releasing' the tension quite intense yet it creates the right release at the right time (after a few rounds of warm up on the muscle area) reducing all the body tension as you go along from the superficial bigger area to small detailed areas.
I came to the “Save Your Neck and Shoulders” YBR® masterclass with a nagging neck pain from last evening's strenuous upper body workout or perhaps that tech-neck syndrome of always glued to the mobile phone (we are all guilty of that!). Greeted by the warm team of Paradigm Wellness (Singapore), I was brought to the workshop space and greet by a 'skinny friend' aka the skeleton model that's hanging around the room for anatomy learning purposes. Freaks me out at times when you see the reflection or come out of a roll and there you have it, skinny skeleton friend to remind you on importance of alignment and health anatomy.
Using three different sized Yamuna® balls, Elizabeth Demmel (visiting certified Yamuna® Body Logic Practitioner & Senior Certifying Yamuna® Body Rolling Instructor with over 20 years of experience) starts demonstrating the importance to 'open' and release the lower back. Most times the tension on our neck is caused by tight muscles on our lower back too. So with the bigger Yamuna® ball, we start to place it on our lower back, breathe in and out deeply while releasing your whole body weight to the ball. Here's a video of Yamuna to understand further how this works.
For that 2 hours, we look at the upper body in parts, with focus on the neck, shoulder and upper back which connects and move with one another. In today's world of a workout needing to be pounding, jumping, moving at high intensity, one wouldn't think this is an activity to take but this is where the full mindfulness, breath and tuning into with the body got you understanding and connected to your body.
Some of the claimed benefits of Yamuna® Body Rolling:
- Improved posture
- Increased range of motion
- Improved alignment in all parts of the body
- Increased muscle tone
- Increased flexibility
- Increased organ function
Like all Yamuna® Body work, direct bone stimulation is key. For example, those that are on desk-bound on a daily at work, to use the ball and focus it in the pelvis area. This is to help the pelvis and hips from narrowing and tightening and causing restrictive movement in the hips. Sitting for long periods of time causes tightness in the pelvis and especially the hips, which in turn causes pain and stress in other areas. Numerous studies have emerged in recent years at how bone stimulation is effective at facilitating healing. This includes electrical stimulation, shockwave therapy and one that is not invasive at all is, Yamuna® Body Rolling.
With the release of deep tissue (myofascial) massage, bone stimulation, Yamuna® balls apply traction and then frees connective tissue to re-educate muscles and tendons to fully release. We can allow our body to restudy and recode themselves. With practice of such release, it decodes and removes the negative holding patterns of our body that unconscious causes stress and pain. Take a shoulder pain for example, most times we are narrowed in on our shoulders, which means forward rolled shoulders, rounded upper back and forward head position, and this misalignment causes the strain and stresses to the upper body starting from the neck.
Using YBR® not only release the areas (and it is not just about stretching as we are always programmed to do - "stretch out the tension"), the bone stimulation also removes negative body patterns, opens the breath, improve nerve function, circulation and over time, affects positively to the rest of the body. After the class, my shoulders felt more relaxed and the neck pain has truly lessened where the next day, i didn't feel the strain any more and consciously made the effort to have my posture right as i walk, work, sit. I know this is not a one-time fix therapy but also a daily conscious effort on my part to improving my posture and overall lifestyle (lesser digital usage!).
More than therapy to heal, I think the rolling brought me closer to discovering my own body patterns and how it responds all with the intention and action to keep the body aligned, energised and strong. This is great for the mental wellbeing too as it naturally forces you to be mindful and have full awareness on where you place the ball on your body. The mind body breath connection is closely intertwined in the Yamuna® Body Rolling method.
Don't just read it here, experience the benefits for your self? Use code 'Yamunatrial' to get a special perk from our friends at Paradigm Wellness (Singapore).