Most of us know the perimeter of our own bodies - arm, legs, hands, feet, body & head - however we have very little awareness of what lies beneath the surface, and how these layers below affect our physical and emotional response to our environment.
Beneath the skin is our second largest sensory organ - a web of soft connective tissue called fascia. These layers of connective tissue contain thousands of sensory neurons, where much of what we physically feel is relayed when these nerve endings are functioning well.
'Rolling' is a form of therapy which helps to keep our soft tissues lubricated so that they function more freely; improving coordination, movement and balance to provide physical and mental rejuvenation. Foam rollers have typically been associated with rolling as they apply pressure to large areas of the body to provide stretch, as well as providing relief to the spine.
Foam rollers and big and bulky and because of this aren't really able to penetrate specific trigger points or get into tricky areas like bones and joints with ease.
This is where BALLS come in handy...their smaller size and squishiness allow the bones to sink into the rubber surface to provide relief through compression, and specific movement techniques. The balls provide on demand pain relief through touch and motion which is far faster acting than any form of medicine. In essence, self massage is very similar to a deep tissue massage, except that YOU are in control and can choose the pressure that suits you.
In yoga we use the balls in conjunction with pranayama - deep abdominal and thoracic breathing to stimulate the body's relaxation response to help target the areas of the body the balls are targeting. In addition to breathing, we use gentle restorative yoga asanas to explore our body's physical and mental state before and after each rolling sequence so that we can observe any change and subsequent improvement of our self-massage techniques.
Everyone can benefit from the innumerable ways these little balls provide relief, so that you can start to use them at home on your own. Not only will they improve performance and mobility BEFORE exercise, they can improve recovery time when AFTER excercise. And the balls don't always have to be a literal pain in the arse, they can also be used to relax, providing relief from emotional trauma by coaxing both mind and body into a sanctuary of stillness.
Best of all...these are the kind of balls you can take anywhere, they're lightweight and portable so that they're always accessible and using them regularly can enhance your yoga practice or improve athletic performance or just help you to move more freely.
Our ROLL + RESTORE class is held bi-monthly at our Duncraig yoga studio in Perth to introduce you to a variety of ways in which you can use these balls to help yourself.