You may have one of those foam rollers at your house or have seem them at your local gym. Many of us athletes use them to roll our bodies on them to ease tired, tense muscles. Doing this is not so fun after a hard workout. But the good news is that these rollers can also be used to assist in relaxing our bodies, deepening our breathing and helping us let go of stress. This is much more fun.
The intention here is to let our midsection relax into the roller placed underneath us. There are a couple of ways to do this:
1. The first one, pictured above, is to place the roller directly under our chest.
Place the roller underneath your nipples. You can have your arms out to the side. Or you can raise them over your head for a deeper experience. Your legs can be stretched out like the photo above OR you can put your feet on the floor with knees bent. This may be easier when you first start doing this.
After you arrange yourself over the roller begin to let your body relax into the roller and the floor. Allow your breathing to deepen. Adjust your arms and legs as needed to be comfortable. Some discomfort is normal. Pain is not. Close your eyes and stay here for one to five minutes.
When you decide to get up first roll onto your side without the roller. Rest here for a breath or two. Then slowly get up. Before you move on the the next thing on your agenda, pause and notice how you feel after doing this. *
2. The second way to do this is to place the roller underneath you lengthwise up and down your spine as in the photo below.
This may be gentler for some of you. With this position, place your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent. Take a few breaths to allow your back to adjust to the roller underneath you and balance yourself on it. Once you are comfortable, move into slow steady breathing as above. When you are finished get up slowly and notice how you feel. *
This is a wonderful way to allow your body to wake up in the morning or relax before you go to bed. Your roller can be your new relaxing tool.
Have fun, enjoy. Breathe, move and feel for a more vibrant you.
* Sometimes lying over the roller is hard on your neck. If this position feels strained, put a pillow or rolled up towel under your neck and head. Now you should be able to let go into this position and be able to relax more deeply.