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You Asked: Yamuna Body Rolling

You're asking and I'm answering . . .

Dear Fit,
I've recently been learning a bit about Yamuna Body Rolling, and since you are a fitness professional I'd love to hear your thoughts! Is it crazy? Or a real way to help sore muscles and tension on your own? Thanks!

—Curious Kate

Let me start by saying I think this form of self massage is great! Yamuna Body Rolling uses balls, either six to ten inches in diameter, to essentially roll out tight muscles. There is a method to the rolling, which is why this technique is so effective, and the method is anatomical. You roll your muscles starting from their origin all the way to their attachment. Going slowly following the direction of the muscle fibers. Gravity is your friend as you relax your muscles around the ball releasing tension and soft tissue. Many Pilates instructors have clients release overly tight muscles using Yamuna's methods before a workout. Often you need to release tight and over-worked muscles to access and strengthen weak and under-used ones.

So Yamuna rolling is especially great if you are managing a chronic injury. One caveat, the work can be very upper-body intensive, so folks with upper-body injuries often have a hard time supporting their weight with their arms while rolling.

You can buy a Beginners Kit ($55), but I highly recommend taking a class to really learn the technique. You can find a class or practitioner in your area with this great search engine on the Yamuna site.

Roll on!

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