I started body rolling a few years ago and loved it. Instantly my body felt more relaxed, more balanced. I felt better alignment in my joints. I felt my weight distributed differently in my feet. My legs felt alive and more toned. It was like the best massage I’d ever had but I was able to give this to myself just by rolling on a ball.
I’ve had a love affair with yoga for 17 years and never thought I’d love anything as much until I discovered body rolling. I feel the same after rolling as I feel after yoga – more spacious, more present in my body, calmer, centred and vibrant.
What I love most about it is that the effects are instant. Everyone feels major changes after their first body rolling session. It realigns you, bringing all the parts back to where they are supposed to be. You suddenly feel “right” in your body. This can take a while even with a regular yoga practice. For some people it may even take years.
Created by Yamuna Zake a yoga teacher from New York this work has developed from years of working with people and from years of research and knowing the physiology, anatomy and mechanics of the body on and off her yoga mat. Yamuna is a visionary, a bodywork guru whose passion and knowledge is inspiring. I’m thrilled to be a practitioner and to be sharing this on EkhartYoga. Once you start rolling you won’t want to stop. Your body will ask for more – it feels so good!
When can you roll?
You can roll before yoga, after yoga, after sports. Anytime you feel tight, tense, uncomfortable in your body – get on your ball. You will instantly feel better. You can roll away everyday stress, anxiety, irritation, or pent-up anger keeping yourself feeling more balanced. After a difficult day, try rolling out your shoulders – your difficult day is gone! Having trouble sleeping? Roll out your back and release your neck – sleep will come.
The benefits of Yamuna body rolling
The basic principle of body rolling is creating space. Every part of your body needs its proper space to function properly. Lack of space first manifests as muscle tightness or contraction. Different bodies lack space for different reasons. Almost everyone has muscles in their body that they don’t use and then these muscles lose their ability to function properly. These muscles then shrink – they shorten, they take up less space. We also all have muscles that we overuse. These muscles are constantly contracted and tightness then results in lack of space.
In body rolling we elongate the muscle. We stimulate a tendon, we free up a joint. Working with the ball reveals how tightness in certain muscles restricts movements in the joints. As they release, the joint loosens up.
The other work that body rolling does is decongest and unstick connective tissue and stimulates bone. It also encourages you to let go of habitual patterns. You start to let go and release. Just as we do in yoga with the breath on the ball we soften, sink and let go.
I believe body rolling is a must for yoga students. It will enable and deepen your practice. It will teach and inform you about your own anatomy. It will help you let go of emotional blocks, trauma and stress. You will feel more centred, grounded and more at ease both physically and emotionally.
Try it in class
I’ve filmed lots of Body Rolling classes for EkhartYoga members. Here’s the first one:
You will need a gold Yamuna ball for these classes. Only Yamuna balls should be used for this body work as they are specifically designed for it. Other types of balls will be too hard (I’ve tried them!) and you could end up hurting yourself. You will also need a ball pump with a pin attachment for inflating and deflating the ball. Yamuna balls can be purchased from the following:
Watch my first class and let me know what you think you can ask questions in the comments here and on the classes too.