What’s Body Rolling?

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Body rolling uses specialized balls to stretch and tone muscles, integrating aspects of yoga. Practitioners follow a set routine using balls of different sizes and firmness. Developed by Yamuna Zake, body rolling can be mixed with yoga or pilates and acts like a massage.

Body rolling is a fitness technique that integrates specialized 10 to 15 centimeter balls into your workout routine. It integrates aspects of yoga to stretch and tone the body, creating longer, more flexible muscles that give the practitioner greater range of motion and flexibility. Many body professionals use body rolling to take care of themselves, and most people who body roll use other body techniques to keep their bodies aligned, healthy, and happy.

In a body rolling session, the practitioner follows a set routine that focuses on stretching the muscles to their full length, starting at the point where the muscle attaches to the bone. A ball is placed on the joint and the practitioner slowly sinks towards the floor, pulling the muscle above the ball. The pressure of the ball stretches muscles and tendons, releasing areas of tension and lengthening the muscle to make it more flexible. Balls of different sizes and firmness are used depending on the type of stretch desired and the fitness level of the practitioner.

The yellow ball is the easiest to work with, being the largest and softest. The yellow balls can be used by the elderly and pregnant women to provide a gentle experience. More advanced practitioners can use the green ball, which is soft like the yellow ball but smaller so it is more intense. The red ball is small and hard, ideal for penetrating areas of deep tension, and is used by experienced body rollers. In a typical body rolling session, the three balls are combined, with different balls being used on various parts of the body and some practitioners adding specialized foot balls.

The concept of body roll was developed by Yamuna Zake who was originally trained as a yogi. In 1979, he suffered a serious hip injury and underwent various forms of physical therapy, all of which were unsuccessful. In response, he developed Yamuna Body Logic, a stretching system designed to strengthen and heal his body, and began teaching the system to interested individuals. Body Logic has developed into Yamuna Body Rolling and Yamuna travels all over the world to offer certification courses.

A typical body rolling class includes yoga exercises to relax and flex the body before the session begins, and incorporates many poses that are familiar to people who already practice yoga and Pilates. In some cases, a body rolling class can be mixed in with a yoga or pilates class so that people new to body rolling can explore in a comfortable way. However, the body roll goes deeper into the body than these two practices and acts almost like a massage, releasing tension as you stretch.

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