The holidays are usually such a magical time - but now stressful with the current crisis we are facing.
Aside from yoga, self myofascial release is one of my go-tos to help soothe tension and stress. I’ve chosen a few of my favorites that I hope you find soothing too. You may experience more range of motion, tissue recovery, and overall circulation immediately!
Typically I begin the self MFR practice with the arches of the feet, specifically targeting the plantar fascia. I stand on an MfR ball (tennis ball will do) with my heel down so I can lean my weight into the center, inner, and outer arches with gentle pressure. 2-3 minutes total is a sufficient amount of time to focus on the feet and can be repeated a few days a week.
I next focus on my calves with an mfr ball on a block - if too intense you can put the ball on the floor or place a piece of fabric on the ball.
As with the feet, I apply the center, inner, and outer surfaces of the calves - the sensation is a dull or tender one vs sharp, shooting pain.
Whether my hips are sore from a vigorous yoga practice or sitting for hours at a time, I find relief rolling my lateral and external rotators of the hips. A great place to start is placing the mfr ball right under the very center of the Glute muscles and rolling outward....hurts so good!
My favorite way to soothe low back pain is to take two mfr balls and place them laterally to my spine around L4-5 . Some days I prefer to keep my feet down and others, for a more intense experience, pull my knees into my chest. The sensation shouldn’t be sharp but more dull /tender. This one can change day to day for what you feel is the right intensity.
One of my very favorite ways to release tension in my neck is to place a yoga block under the occipital ridge of my skull and gently roll my head side to side. You will likely find spots that could use more attention and linger there - if the block edges are too intense place a small towel on the block for some padding.
We all sit too much - even as a full time yoga teacher I’m on my computer planning trainings or in my car driving to teach. When our hip flexors get tight and or weak, our body feels it all over. I place the mfr balls inside my frontal hip bones and experiment with being closer to my torso or my legs; some days the tension is more intense regionally. If you want to intensify the effects try bending and straightening the leg!
I hope you enjoy these techniques to release tension and target the trigger points that are keeping you from feeling more physical freedom.