How using two massage balls combined with yoga became Christian Ralston’s secret weapon to a more easeful body.
Ive been practicing Yoga for 5 or 6 years and to say that its had the most amazing positive effect on both my body and mind would be a understatement. Its taken a while and I’ve been a truly dedicated student but I can honestly say Im more energetic, open, mobile and strong than i ever have been. Regaining freedom of movement in my body didn’t just come from Yoga. I had a secret weapon. My two balls. I used these two massage balls (sometimes one) for my own self massage.
I first came across the use of balls to help create better movement in a crossfit gym i was going to. (Innerwest Crossfit) We would sometimes use the balls before a workout and each time we used them i was always amazed at how much it hurt (in a good way) and how much of a difference it made to the quality of my movement in the target area. The thing that stood out the most though and keeping in mind i was coming from a Yoga background was that the gains in freedom of movement involved no stretching.(not one of Crossfit forte’s) It motivated me to find out more.
I got myself some balls, did some research and started experimenting with my body. I was feeling great results. The use of the balls is basically a self guided massage. They work because they effect the Fascia in you’re body. Fascia can be described in simple terms as an interconnected web that surrounds our muscles, organs, bones, nerves and blood vessels. It holds everything together. Overtime, for a variety of reasons fascia can become thick and fibrous in some places losing some of its fluid nature. The loss of fluidity can lead to bunching and hardening in one area of the interconnected web and this then pulls on the other areas surrounding it. I found that Yoga and stretching will only help so much. The Fascia must be looked after as well and i well believe one of the missing links in a well rounded yoga practice.
There are established well known trouble spots around a body and a person can easily find these so they can be in control of bringing health back to the problem areas. It can be quicker and safer however at first to have some guidance. Im running a workshop using the massage balls on February 10th called “Please Help My Hips Part 2”. You can book in here. And it doesn’t matter at all if you didn’t attend my workshop at Flow last year.
Its designed so you feel how effective the ball use is and to give you the tools to go home and do it yourself. Grab you’re tight hips by the balls and come along.
If you are interested in learning more there are two great books on the subject if you need some reference.
The Roll Model by Jill Miller
Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett