Review: Roll and release yoga workshop
Paying attention to the aches and pains of our bodies day-to-day is a vital first-step in performing self-care. By listening to our bodies, we are able to remedy any issues it highlights for us. Lizzie, one of our Brighton Girls, was invited to pick up some new techniques and exercises to include in her own routine by attending the new Roll & Release workshop instructed by Veerle Geuens at The Float Spa.
Roll and Release teaches the art of fascia unwinding through breathing exercises and some very simple self-massage techniques combined with gentle asanas. Before delving right into the exercises and techniques, however, it's first important to understand exactly what they aim to remedy:
What is fascia?
Fascia has only been properly researched in the last twenty years, with the research highlighting the fascia's great importance when looking at the body’s anatomy. Fascia is the connective tissue in the body that covers muscle, bone, nerves and so on from head to toe as one continuous structure. It has an appearance similar to a spider’s web and can be greatly influenced by our mood and physical activity.
As related to these, it can become stiff and cause pain and/or density in the affected areas. By keeping our fascia happy and healthy throughout our body, however, it is possible to relieve these tensions and enable the body to move freely as it should.
Rolling and releasing
The techniques themselves are simple and can involve tools such as rollers, myofascial balls, blocks or tennis balls. In this workshop, Veerle taught how to slowly and gently roll different parts of the body using a block and/or tennis balls, targeting tougher spots for longer where possible.
We worked from our toes all the way to the nape of the neck, always breathing in through our nose and out through our mouth as we worked on each body part, incorporating asanas in between to stretch and ease the areas being worked on.
Something I realised midway through the workshop was that as I rolled the top part of my left leg from side to side on the edge of my block, I hadn't anticipated hitting such a tense ‘spicy spot’, as Veerle calls it.
As a yogini and gym-goer, it shouldn’t have been a surprise. Focusing attention on these particular areas were tough, but the floaty feeling felt by the end of the workshop was like having a suit of armour lifted from my body.
I discovered so many ways to use one or two tennis balls on different parts of the body - including the glutes, the chest and the nape. Applying gentle pressure on these areas is very satisfying.
Top tip: keep some tennis balls under your office desk to massage your feet - a body part we easily ignore but really shouldn’t!
The workshop introduced me to the importance of fascia, with the techniques helping me understand my body much better. I left The Float Spa feeling totally and utterly relaxed. Now, I’m off to buy some tennis balls to keep under my office desk. Thanks Veerle!
Get in touch with Veerle Geuens
Veerle’s next workshop at The Float Spa will be the Autumn Restore and Renew Yoga Workshop on 13th November. To find out more about this workshop, Roll & Release or any other workshops/classes that Veerle Geuens teaches, please visit her website: www.namoyoga.be.
Written by Lizzie P.A.