Yoga City is excited to offer a new class to our members in 2018 called Deep Release. This class blends yoga postures and self-massage techniques, giving you the tools necessary to help identify and address areas of pain in your body.
Our Deep Release class is inspired by The Roll Model Method by Yoga TuneUp, which uses a variety of grippy, pliable rubber balls to target and eradicate aches and pains. Rolling on these balls helps uncover “body blind spots” – areas in your body that are catalysts for pain and injury. Physical pain is often caused by muscles being overused, underused or misused, and these muscles need to be felt, seen and heard by you.
The effects of rolling are similar to that of a massage, helping to loosen muscle fibres that have become adhered to each other. After rolling, we may feel physical relief, improved posture, deeper breathing, mental clarity, and a greater sense of relaxation overall.
A Word on Fascia
Rolling with the balls is all about working with our fascia; the body’s soft-tissue scaffolding that holds everything together. Fascia surrounds and penetrates our muscles, bones, organs, nerves, blood vessels and much more. It is responsible for maintaining structural integrity, providing support and shock absorption. Fascia is also nerve-rich, providing a matrix that allows intercellular communication.
When people speak about fascia, they often refer to it as the deepest layer of soft-tissue and, therefore, difficult to access and stretch. This is partly true. In fact, fascia is everywhere in our body and can be divided into two basic categories, superficial fascia and deep fascia, with a transition zone on either side called loose fascia.
Superficial fascia lies just beneath your skin. This layer feels spongy, springy, or fluffy. Try pinching your cheek and its underlying fatty layer and roll it between your fingers. This is an example of superficial fascia. The same goes for pinching your belly, your forearm, or top of your hand. These may all feel different in texture, but they are all examples of superficial fascia. A whopping 98% of your body is coated in fat-filled superficial fascia.
Deep fascia, on the other hand, has a tough duct tape-like appearance, with crimp-like waves in different densities. It surrounds muscles or acts as a tendon layer. You can locate your deep fascia by trying to clamp your fingers in a wide grip down the side of your thigh, where your IT Band is located. Try penetrating beyond the spongy superficial layer to the wider, flatter, denser, deep fascia.
Issues in Your Tissues
Over time, our fascia can become stiff, tight and knotted, manifesting into physical pain. This could be due to an injury, stress, poor movement patterns, emotional trauma, or any other number of things. When we feel physical pain in a certain area, often it’s because those muscles are being overused, underused or misused.
Consider someone who has recently had knee surgery. Post-operation, they might have a build-up of scar tissue in this region, making it difficult to fully contract or bend the knee. This locked-up tissue becomes underused, leading to dysfunctional compensation patterns in surrounding muscles, causing more imbalances throughout the body. That’s why regular movement (no matter how small to start with) is imperative post-operation to help with recovery.
But ball rolling isn’t just great for injuries. It’s also an important method of self-care and should be done regularly by everyone. Everyday stress causes our muscles to tighten and contract, most of the time on an unconscious level.
Consider how you hold your body while driving. During this time, your body is in a constant state of “fight or flight” as you observe your surroundings to avoid an accident. Your body can’t help but tighten up in this alarmed state, and it can be difficult to turn off, even after you leave your car. By rolling, we help our bodies move from this highly strung-out state to a more relaxed state. And from this place of relaxation, we can increase our body awareness, identify areas of tension, and treat them before they manifest into something greater (e.g. trigger points, frozen joints, nerve spasms, etc.)
Come Roll With Us
Come experience the effects of rolling in our Deep Release class. This class is offered every 2 weeks, on Tuesdays 7pm-8:15pm. Check out the Yoga City schedule for the next available session.
Please note, this class is limited to 12 students, so be sure to register in advance using the Yoga City app, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debbie is a Yoga Instructor at Yoga City, Mississauga. She has been practicing yoga since 2008 and completed her 200 hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training in 2016 with Yoga City. Debbie has a professional background in writing and digital marketing, with a passion for Health, Wellbeing and Personal Growth. She is thrilled to be able to combine both as the Editor of the Yoga City blog. You can follow Debbie on Instagram @yoga.bee