“Get on the Ball!”
My undergraduate degree was in sculpture from Boston University. We studied the human form with two years of anatomy and my last two years had a project each year of a life size sculpture. We built armatures, which were the skeletal support and then modelled the clay, covering the “bones” in realistic, anatomy-specific muscles. Over those years, I grew to love the human body.
A year out of college, my fascination with the body-mind connection had me reading everything I could on the subject. It made total sense to me that we can’t separate the body from the mind and vice versa. Stuckness in the body creates a stuckness in the mind. An out of balance hip from a fall on the ice last year can create physical stress and strain patterns that don’t allow the body to heal or move freely. This imbalance can then lead to hip, knee and back problems, perhaps resulting in a hip replacement in the coming years. Depression and sadness can develop from the pain.
I have spent the last 40 years studying and doing structural bodywork called Rolfing®. It is direct manipulation of the connective tissue of the body that brings us back to organization and balance after disruption. The accidents, injuries and traumas of life can shift our physical reality so that we are out of balance. Our traumas, our grief and our injuries can get stuck in the body. I found in my work as a Rolfer; a way to promote relief and release.
In the late 70’s, I came across an incredible book, “The Body Has Its Reasons,” (now out of print) written by a French physical therapist Therese Bertherat. Her premise was to use our own body weight over balls of different sizes to release muscular tightness throughout the body. In my Rolfing® practice, I taught all my clients to use a raquetball to juice up and soften the tension around the mid to upper back which released tightness in the neck, shoulders and between the shoulder blades. The other place of great benefit was working in the fleshy part of the buttocks to release deep tightness that led to lower back and hamstring tightness.
What a success! People loved their raquetballs. They felt looser and could commit to two or three minutes a day for self-care. The down side was that a raquetball was too small to work the low back, waist and abdomen without causing spasms and risking injury.
Flash forward to 2004. I was introduced to another form of ball release work called Yamuna® Body Rolling (YBR). It involved rolling on a series of balls that are smaller than basketballs. The technique was specific and had structure behind it, not the arbitrary “roll it out” that I knew before. I was intrigued and entered a training in NYC right away.
This self-massage technique uses specially designed balls that absorb weight and deliver maximum benefits. YBR is tailored to your body by changing the pressure you use and is the perfect choice for at-home care.
The benefits of YBR include:
- effective self-massage
- releases and re-educates muscles
- strengthens and tones your body
- provides weight-bearing exercise
- improves bone density
- core strengthening
- heals and prevents injury
I designed and am teaching a two-hour introductory workshop that explores movement and freedom from your feet to your head. The workshop is fun and informative. Much of the work is done on a yoga mat or standing against a wall. Mostly all positions on the floor can be altered to accommodate the use of a chair. There is foot release work which improves foot fitness and stability and balance throughout the body.
- combining wellness and injury prevention.
- a 5-minute routine to get the kinks out before you enjoy an evening out.
- the freedom of a back and hips that move and swing.
- shoulders that are relaxed and easy, not carrying the weight of the world.
Come and explore Yamuna® Body Rolling. Workshops are being offered in April and May at various locations (see my website www.SharonSklarRolfing.com or check the Calendar of Natural Nutmeg for April 4th and 25th workshops). Private or semi-private sessions are available.
Sharon Sklar is in her 39th year of private practice as a Certified Advanced Rolfer. State licensed and the only Rolfer and Certified Yamuna® Body Rolling Practitioner in Central CT, Sharon works with direct manipulation of the soft tissue of the body and movement re-education over a ten session series to help her clients feel freer, get more balanced and reduce chronic pain. Visit her website: www.SharonSklarRolfing.com and read the several testimonials from years of satisfied clients. Call 860.561.4337 for more information or to schedule a consultation. Inquiries are encouraged.
Feel free. Move well. Get Rolfed!