As fall arrives, our schedules and activities stir up and so do the little aches and pains within the body. Our bodies have been accustomed to the warmth of the sun and the restorative qualities summer and vacation bring.  As fall arrives it is important to listen to what our bodies are telling us.  We must be gentle and undo some of the tightness resulting from our busy schedules, obligations and activities.  It is time to dig in to your tool box and heal some of those aches.  I have, and I am feeling so much better!

Back Pain 101 

These are my 4 favorite and simple tools that help relieve back tightness and create a spacious and healthy spine… (Especially after a surf, hike or a long day of driving or work!)

Props you will need:

Feldenkrais Foam Roller (if you don’t have one, you should buy one!  They are handy for EVERYTHING!)

Tennis Ball or Pinky Ball

Yoga Strap, Belt or Towel

Yoga Mat

1) Lay out your mat and place your foam roller down horizontally.  Roll out those tight Iliotibial Bands (This is the band of tissue that originates up near the gluteal tissue and superficial hip flexors).  Roll the roller along the tissue on the side of your thigh from below the ilium of your pelvis to just above your knee.  Do this slowly, breathing deeply as you release.  NOTE:  This can be quite painful, so take your time and be gentle.  Roll both sides. IT Band Release Video

2) Lie on your back along the mat with your knees bent and feet flat about hip distance apart.  Grab your tennis ball and slide it underneath your gluteal tissue on one side (the fleshy part of your bum).  You will know the spot when you hit it, as it may feel tender.  Hug that knee into your chest and extend the other leg out straight onto the mat and let it relax.  Begin to make circles with the leg you are hugging towards your chest so as to release the tissue around the ball.  Make circles in both directions feeling the tissue release from the pressure of the ball.  Continue with long inhales and exhales as you allow your abdomen to relax. Feel free to move the ball to different areas as you find new spots that need to release!  Perform on both sides.

3) Continue lying on your back.  Bend both knees with the feet flat on the mat and hip distance apart.  Grab your strap or belt and loop it around your one foot.  You will gently move into a hamstring stretch.  Please see posted video for guidance. 

4) Hug both knees to the chest while pressing some gentle weight into the base of your pelvis as to keep a slight curve away from the mat in the lumbar spine.  Extend your legs out long and become aware of how the body now feels.  Take a few breaths here and remember to roll to one side to press yourself up to sit.

Please note that if you have been diagnosed with an injury, are in an acute stage of injury or are experiencing frequent pain it is best to seek the undivided attention of a professional rather than practicing from this instruction.  Also, please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns!