Massage : Back, Hip, Sciatica

HOW TO Massage Back, Hips and Sciatica using Foam Roller

Featured Product: Foam Roller 
Purpose: Use for sports training, to help enhance balance, for body awareness, to improve flexibility, and during dynamic strength training. In therapy or rehabilitation they help with muscle re-education and myofacial release. Use a foam roller to self massage the entire body
Compatible Exercises: Pilates, Strength Training, Self-Myofacial Release, Stretching

Here are some helpful tools to assist you with pain in your hips, back and sciatica.

  • Small smooth massage balls (similar to tennis balls, but with variable densities to choose from depending upon your pain level)
  • Large Spiky massage balls (larger balls are better for bigger muscle areas)
  • Foam Rollers are a great way to roll out the IT Band (side of thigh), hips, glutes, and back
  • Body Rolling Ball is a larger durable vinyl ball that is adjustable in inflation and feels good on the larger gluteus muscles and back muscles in addition to hamstrings
  • TheraCane to apply pressure to release knots
More massage tips from Save Yourself website.  To release trigger points in this area, there are several tools you can use:

Massage Balls : Feet

HOW TO Use Massage Balls for your Feet

Featured Product: Muscle Knot Relief Balls 
Brand: JFit
Purpose:  Release tight muscles, knots or adhesions and tension
Compatible Uses: Neck, jaw, shoulder, rotator cuff, lower back, hips, knees, calf muscles, and feet
Rolling Sands Harmony Retail Sale Price: $16.98 (*We carry a selection of other Massage Balls. Spiky Balls by FitBALL, Hand Renewal Therapy Balls by Rejuvenation, Mini Massage Balls by JFit, Muscle Massage Kit by Rejuvenation)

Treat your feet with these exercises using massage balls.  Reduce aches and pains and improve balance by remembering to exercise and stretch your feet, too.

Meditation : Guided with Anusara Yogi

HOW TO Meditate : Anusara Yogi 

Before listening and watching the following 8+ minute video, find a quiet spot to sit comfortably with an erect spine. This video is by an English Anusara yogi and would be a beautiful Savasana meditation to do as well at the end of your yoga practice.

If you will be sitting cross-legged on the floor or earth, and if your knees are higher than your hips, Bridget suggests tucking a blanket under both of your knees to allow you to fully and deeply relax your inner thighs during this meditation practice. Another option would be to sit higher. How high would depend on how high your knees are – you may just need to sit on a yoga blanket, or your may prefer to sit on a Zafu. We offer a large selection of Zafus: round or crescent-shaped; regular cotton covers or organic; and cotton, buckwheat or kapok stuffing.

Yoga : Perfecting the Yoga Push-Up “Chaturanga Dandasana”

HOW TO Perfect the Yoga Push up 

Chaturanga Dandasana, or the Yoga Push-Up, is a pose frequently found in the Sun Salutations. Learning to do it properly will protect your wrists and your back. The following video will primarily discuss practicing from the knees. The article from Yoga Journal following the video will review the full pose, which is with straight legs. It is best to practice from the knees first to build up arm and shoulder strength before moving into the full pose to be able to perform this pose with proper alignment.

A yoga mat is essential to protect yourself from slipping in this pose. We offer a large variety of non-slip yoga mats. If you notice that during this video, the male model has his hands properly below his shoulders, but this has forced his hands partly off of his mat. Wider yoga mats are now available on the market. Currently we sell wider yoga mats and longer yoga mats that can help our growing population of male yogis with wider shoulders.  We also sell a wide  non-slip yoga towel, the  eQua Yoga Towel which is 26.5″ wide.  Is there a wide mat that you would like to see us offer?  Please let us know!  We’re always adding new products to satisfy our customers.

Chaturanga Dandasana – from Yoga Journal

chaturanga :  (chaht-tour-ANG-ah don-DAHS-anna)

  • chaturanga = four limbs (chatur = four        anga = limb)
  • danda = staff (refers to the spine, the central “staff” or support of the body)

Step by Step – doing the Full Pose with Straight Legs

Perform Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog), then Plank Pose. Firm your shoulder blades against your back ribs and press your tailbone toward your pubis.

With an exhalation slowly lower your torso and legs to a few inches above and parallel to the floor. There’s a tendency in this pose for the lower back to sway toward the floor and the tailbone to poke up toward the ceiling. Throughout your stay in this position, keep the tailbone firmly in place and the legs very active and turned slightly inward. Draw the pubis toward the navel.

Keep the space between the shoulder blades broad. Don’t let the elbows splay out to the sides; hold them in by the sides of the torso and push them back toward the heels. Press the bases of the index fingers firmly to the floor. Lift the top of the sternum and your head to look forward.

Chaturanga Dandasana is one of the positions in the Sun Salutation sequence. You can also practice this pose individually for anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds. Release with an exhalation. Either lay yourself lightly down onto the floor or push strongly back to Adho Mukha Svanasana, lifting through the top thighs and the tailbone.

Pilates : The Essentials

HOW TO do Pilates : What you need to know before you try! 

What is Pilates? How do I get started with Pilates? How would Pilates benefit me? Is Pilates just another form of Yoga?

If you find yourself asking these questions, this is a great video for you. Learn the history and benefits of Pilates and, even more importantly, how to perform the basic functions properly to help you get started safely and effectively.

As you start your Pilates practice, you’ll need one simple basic prop – the Pilates Mat. A Pilates mat differs from a yoga mat in one simple way. They tend to be a little thicker to provide cushioning for your spine and joints when doing a floor routine.  Generally speaking, you’ll want to look for a mat that is 1/4″ thick (or offers a comparable cushioning factor – some materials have a higher “cushioning factor” than others).

As you find yourself enjoying the benefits of this great fitness practice, you may eventually look for additional props to use during your workouts – such as a Pilates Ball, Toning Balls, a Pilates Ring, elastic Bands, and more.  But many Pilates exercises can be done with just a mat alone.  That’s a great place to get started.

Pilates: The Essentials