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THEY HAVE BALLS - AND KNOW HOW TO USE THEM
By Patti Reed LMT, ACE, certified PT
In a well disguised, remote area of east Naples, camouflaged by its woodsy location and innocent exterior, each week a group of ladies and gentlemen meets to practice a little-known activity. It is neither subversive nor dangerously life-threatening; in fact, for some it could be life saving.
These body rollers have a wide assortment of balls and they know just how to use them.
There are the softer inflated Yamuna balls as well as the smaller, harder ‘porcupine’ balls, used to create a personal release style. Yamuna Body Rolling is a unique system devised to provide health, fitness and massage -- all rolled into one, and using a combination of balls increases your chances of success to work on harder-to-reach areas in the body.
On any evening we might begin with the toes and feet and work our way upward, making sure each person in attendance gets full attention and is working at his or her own level of comfort and achievement.
Between the puffs, grunts, and moans, one person has time to quip, “Finally, a good use for balls!” Amid giggles, another adds, “This is better than sex.” When the laughing dies down, another compares it to self-massage while yet another claims it’s “The best exercise class I have ever attended.”
Yamuna means river and the body work is all about flow, distributing positive energy everywhere it touches, like a river itself. Yamuna, named for the person who developed the innovative style of release, understands the limitation of body healing is that it requires working with trained practitioners. The goal was to give people tools and the knowledge to take care of their own bodies - at home, work, and when traveling. According to her website, Yamuna Body Rolling is health, fitness and massage rolled into one: a revolutionary approach using balls designed exclusively for this practice. Unlike other ball exercises, YBR goes beyond random movement and stretch by allowing the rollers to work specific muscles in detail, to create suppleness in tight areas and optimize their range of motion. It can reeducate muscles and stimulate bone, creating positive, permanent changes in the body.
Body rolling works the way a hands-on practitioner works, only using a ball to replace hands as it moves on muscles to stretch them, dislodge tension and discomfort, increase blood flow, and promote healing. As Yamuna balls hold up to 350 pounds, most people can use them. It is wise to begin Yamuna or any ball rolling with a certified practioner, until the moves are learned. Many feel it is more beneficial and enjoyable to work in a relaxed classroom setting in order to learn which balls can best be used to release certain areas, where the balls should be placed for maximum effect, and for how long they should be left there.
Ball rolling is perfect for prevention of certain conditions and injuries: prevention of headaches, lower back problems, back, neck, and shoulder tension and problems stemming from the repetitive stress syndromes that pervade our daily lives. Almost every structural problem can be greatly improved with rolling, as well as stress and tension relief. Just spending a few minutes each day to body-roll your back and neck can affect the nerve roots of the spine, which sets off deep relaxation. The routines are easy to follow and can be adapted for each person’s use.
Body rolling can help you feel relaxed and energized at the same time. As your muscles elongate, alleviating tightness and tension, body movement become almost effortless.
By rolling on your spine, you are stimulating the nerve roots which in turn stimulate specific organ function: internal organs and systems can function better. Even organs of digestion will work more efficiently. Posture and alignment, so necessary for vital energy and stamina will improve.
Come and roll just for the health of it!