As far as we know, the earliest yogis didn’t practice with foam blocks, straps or sticky mats, but as yoga continues to evolve we often turn to props to help us access a posture more fully and deepen our asana practices. With that in mind, we’ll look at how a foam roller and other Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) techniques can be used within a yoga practice.
What is Foam Rolling + Yoga?
Foam Rolling + Yoga is a blend of Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) techniques and yoga. Foam rolling has long been used by athletes, trainers, and therapists to release tight muscles, aid in recovery, and prevent injury. In combination with your own body weight, a foam roller, tennis ball and other props are used to massage different areas to release muscular tightness. The deep compression allows normal blood flow to return, restores healthy tissue and improves circulation and flexibility.
What are the benefits of incorporating foam rolling in a studio setting?
Foam rolling can complement and contribute to an expanded asana practice by providing feedback about what our bodies’ needs are, creating optimal body alignment and making a pose more accessible by helping deepen the muscular release and increasing the range of motion and flexibility needed. It also helps promote balance by helping less flexible areas release and lengthen, enhances the restorative and therapeutic aspect of a pose and allows us to receive the benefits of yoga more deeply. Offering Foam Rolling + Yoga is another way studios can provide additional and complementary classes for their students.
How can this benefit students?
Foam Rolling + Yoga helps relieve muscle tension, improves mobility and flexibility, reduces the risk of injury, improves blood flow and relieves stress. And it gives students even deeper body awareness. All things that complement and improve an asana practice.
What will it do for me as a teacher?
In this Yoga Alliance CEU-approved training, teachers will learn best rolling techniques, precautions to be aware of, corresponding asanas and tips for how to incorporate SMR in a yoga class. Whether or not your studio offers a full-length Foam Rolling + Yoga class, this training gives teachers a deeper knowledge of the body, a new prop to use in their classes and complementary exercises to recommend their students practice at home.