Most people have heard of yoga, but much fewer are familiar with body rolling. However, this is one therapeutic practice that is definitely worth learning about, as it can really help you to achieve your full range of motion and feel your physical and mental best. It can also dramatically relieve any tension locked away in your muscles.
Body rolling consists of using the weight of your own body to roll different muscle groups along a ball of appropriate firmness and size. The ball stimulates the muscle, aligns the respective muscle group and allows each muscle to function properly. Best of all, with some training, you can eventually do body rolling yourself in the comfort of your own home.
Some benefits of body rolling include aligned joints and vertebrae, better posture and optimal flexibility, as well as enhanced muscle elasticity. With long-term practice, body rolling can even lead to better organ function.
To better understand body rolling, how it works, and its multiple benefits, we interviewed Erin Geraghty, a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and body rolling instructor based in Bradenton, Florida.
Alternative Daily: What, in your opinion, are the most important benefits of body rolling?
Erin Geraghty: Body rolling is a self therapy that helps students connect their mind and body, while rolling out and stretching the myofascial web, muscle attachments, and even creating space between the joints. Body rolling helps the student to slow down the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system so the body becomes more sensitive and intuitive to the work being done.
We start to notice subtleties. For example, if you were holding a heavy iron and a fly landed on it, you wouldn’t notice any change in the weight of the iron or impact because the muscles are already straining. If you were holding a feather and the fly landed on it, you could feel the ripples of impact, the landing and takeoff. Body rolling affords us the same type of sensitivity with our bodies.
AD: What made you want to instruct in this particular practice?
EG: This practice had a huge impact on my life. I used to be type A; nothing was ever good enough, I was highly competitive, and as a result I was a pretty unsettled person. I always sought external things for fleeting moments of whatever calmness or happiness I could get a hold of. Body rolling taught me to breathe, slow down, and create happiness and joy on the inside, while healing my body from past strains and injuries of overexertion.
AD: Is there anything someone should know before getting started?
EG: It takes some time and effort to really feel all the wonderful energetic sensations on the inside, but it’s so worth it. Taking a journey inwards and discovering who you really are is where this practice can take you.
If you would like to get in touch with Erin, she welcomes you to visit her website.
-The Alternative Daily