Getting to Know Your Tight Areas favorite_border

Yoga Girl Daily - July 31st 2020

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Feel-Good Friday, Self-Love

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

Where do you tend to hold tension in your body?

We all have different patterns of tightness, but we also have the ability to heal ourselves.

Tune in today as Rachel shares the practice of self-massage as a tool to not only get to know yourself better, but also to explore tightness, to release, and to heal.


[00:04] Welcome to Yoga Girl Daily, happy Friday, and welcome to our Feel-Good Friday episode of this week. I hope you've had a good week and that you feel ready for the weekend. Today, I have a little self-care tip that I'm going to leave you with. And this is a practice that I come back to all the time, but mainly when I'm in pain. What we're going to do today is hopefully going to avoid us having to get to the point of pain in the first place. We're going to practice a little bit of self-massage. So self-massage, it's one of those things that when you start getting into it, you realize just how important and healing self-touch actually is and how easy it is. And, you know, for many of us, it feels really good to go and get body work done and to get massages and things like that.

[00:54] Obviously now, with COVID, those things are not as accessible as they were before, but the thing about self-massage is you don't need a pandemic to switch your regular massage sessions for self-massage, but it's something that is totally free and a way for you to get really intimate with yourself, which is for me, the more beautiful part of this practice. So, to do this, you can choose if you have some props that you want to use. So there are those little massage balls. Maybe you have a foam roller or something at home, a lacrosse ball, a tennis ball. Anything literally will work, but if you don't have any of that, just your hands, honestly, you don't need any oil or anything at all. And what you're going to do is sit down in silence, take a moment to really check in with the body, and then find an area of the body that you can send today has a little bit of a bigger need.

[01:41] For me, it's almost always the same two areas of my body when it comes to, actually three areas of my body that I returned to for self-massage, again and again, and that is my upper back, my trapezius and neck, I guess that sounds like three areas. I count that as one area, and then the other two are my glutes, especially glute medias, and my forearms. Actually, for all of us, with all the time we spend on our phones and computers and things like that, we all carry a lot of tension and some calcifications of the fascia around the forearm. So, the forearms are a really good and accessible place to rub on a little bit throughout the day. But of course, this is very individual and unique. So beginning in an area of your body where you can just sense today that man, I have some tightness here.

[02:27] I feel some tension, some tiredness, there’s something going on. My body needs a bit of attention in this area. That's where you're going to begin. So choosing an area that's accessible to you by your own hands, if you don't have a massage ball or a lacrosse ball or anything like that, you know, upper, mid back, lower back side body, things like that is a little bit easier if you have a massage ball to work with. So, if you don't pick a place, you can reach easily on your own. And then taking really deep breaths. You know, I'm doing this right now as I'm recording this, it's just intuitively something that happens. So I take my thumb of the left hand and I start to press it into the forearm because that's where I'm working right now of the right arm. And I just kind of use my thumb to feel into this whole section of my body.

[03:16] And that's how you'll begin wherever you're choosing to begin. Just using your fingers, your thumb, maybe even the base of the hand, the palm of the hand, just to kind of feel for any sensitive or tight area. And once I find a place that feels like a little bit extra tight, or sometimes I can even find with my thumb and fingertips, a knot, and I’ll stay there, and I'll take a couple of deep, deep, deep breaths. So it's not about, you know, pushing to the point of excruciating pain or anything like that. I don't think the more pain we feel, the more release we get, there's also that ability for the body to be able to soften into the touch. So kind of like our yoga practice, right? We want to feel the discomfort of the shape. So we know that something's happening.

[04:01] We're on that journey, but not to the point of injuring ourselves or going to a place the body isn't ready to go yet. Same for self-massage, right? So, we're aiming for feeling, for discomfort, to explore tightness that maybe has been lodged in this part of the body for a long time. So taking as much time as you have, you know, and sometimes I'll practice self-massage when I'm on the couch or watching a movie, you know, it's something that you absolutely can do while you're doing something else, but for this practice, for our feel-good self-care practice today, I want you to give yourself this presence and this time, right? So maybe make it part of your yoga practice after Savasana or make it a part of your meditation practice today, or just give yourself half an hour alone, light a candle and get to know your body.

[04:50] And of course, once you've done one side, make sure you go to the other side of the body. So you have a little bit of balance, right? So after I've worked my right forearm, I worked the left one as well. And then hopefully, you know, at the end of this, you can take a moment just to sit in silence and sense that feeling of release that actually touching ourselves brings. So, it's more than that anatomical ability that we have to get into tight areas and release tension. It's also giving ourselves attention, giving ourselves presence, setting an intention for the touch that we're about to give ourselves. We have this huge ability to heal ourselves. I mean, we're all healing ourselves right now. It's probably why you're listening to this podcast in the first place, because you are on a healing journey. So, set an intention for what you need, and then get really conscious and present and use this time to really give yourself the healing that you know you deserve. I hope this practice serves you and I hope it's something you do more than once. It's one of those things that's beautiful to come back to again and again and again. Thank you so much for practicing with me today. I hope you feel good all through the weekend. Yoga Girl Daily will be back on Monday.

[End of Episode]