Foam rolling was introduced to me by my yogi classmate/former boss/great friend Julia. Although we were both new to yoga teaching, she wasn’t new to fitness and definitely not new to foam rolling. It continues to help her cope with pains caused by a rare disease.
As my teaching has evolved, so has incorporating foam rolling with it. I use it in most of my yoga classes, seen as an added bonus.
Often during yoga, I still feel at least one more place yearning for alignment and the foam roller usually does that final release for me.
5 foam rolling techniques I enjoy:
1. Lower Back with Knee Sway:
Lay on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Press into your feet and lift your hips up in the air. Slide the foam roller underneath your lower back horizontally. Lift your legs and bring your knees towards your chest. With your arms out to the side for balance, sway side to side with your knees, giving your lower back a massage.
2. Upper back Roll:
Lay your upper back on the roller in a sit up position. Lift your hips and roll back and forth concentrating on the shoulder blade area. Begin to move to the middle of the back, below the shoulder blades once you feel ready.
3. IT Band Roll:
This one can be a tender spot depending on the roller you use, but it is very beneficial for tight runners, hips and knees.
Start with foam roller on the side hip, taking a side plank position on the foam roller. For less pressure your top leg will be in front of the bottom leg for support. For more pressure stack the top leg. Begin to roll along the IT band down to right above the knee (avoid knee) and continue to roll back up to the hip. Repeat motion.
4. Glute Roll:
Sit on foam roller. Drop right knee and place right hand behind you. Sitting in a sideways butterfly position, begin to roll right glute only. Then when you’re ready repeat on other side.
5. Neck Roll:
Lay back with your neck on the foam roller. Shake head Slowly side to side like you’re saying no. Nice and slowwww.
6. Supported Fish Pose:
End with opening the shoulders , back and neck in a supported fish pose.
Remember to breathe! These movements are much more effective when the breath is slow. I always get great back cracks when I slowly exhale and roll.
Excellent present for someone who has back pain.