How to Practice Self-Massage favorite_border

Yoga Girl Daily - June 26th 2020

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Feel-Good Friday, Self-Love, Healing

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

If you aren’t sure why or how to practice self-massage, or if you feel any sort of aversion or discomfort toward it, then today’s self-care practice is for you!

Practicing self-massage can relieve stress and tension in your body and mind, and leave you feeling calm and connected.

Tune in as Rachel goes through a step-by-step process to practicing self-massage, and all the areas of your body that could probably use a little love.

We promise you will feel great after!


[00:04] Welcome to Yoga Girl Daily, happy Friday, and welcome to our Feel-Good Friday episode of the week. We have made it through an entire work week. It's about time we get to the weekend and today for our feel-good practice, for our self-care practice, I want to share with you guys a practice that is really, really dear and special to me and something that I come back to again and again, especially if I've been having a hard couple of days, or if I feel at all stressed or some pressure about anything at all, this is a practice that can really help you go a little bit deeper into your own space. Today for our self-care practice, we are all going to engage in a little bit of self-massage, and I love sharing this as a self-care tip because it's so special, not just in, you know, the idea of massaging ourselves as if we’re, you know, loosening up a knot or releasing tension, all of that, but actually using self-massage as a tool to become more intimate with ourselves, as a tool to connect to ourselves on a much deeper level.

[01:15] And sometimes I teach this in a yoga class. If we're in a forward bend or we're in a shape where we can actually reach a certain part of our body, and I'll cue the class to just take a moment to place their hands on to their body, the thighs or calves or feet or whatever it is that we can reach and make that connection. And every time I do that, when I look out at the class, usually half of the people get really excited about it and half of the people feel a little weird about it. Like, wait, what do you mean? Like rub my own feet? And I think that says a lot, right? If we feel any sort of this connect or any aversion to just rubbing on ourselves a little bit, it probably means that we need to get more intimate with our own bodies in this way.

[02:01] And also the idea of, you know, whenever we feel a lot of tension in the body that we need to go get a massage, of course, there are amazing body workers out there and body work and massage and therapy for the body is so, so, so valuable. So keep doing that, if you all were to have a practice of doing that, but there's something so beautiful about noticing that we're carrying tension somewhere and then dealing with that ourselves, like, okay, how can I use my own hands or any tools that I have around the house to actually loosen up this area that might be feeling a little bit tight? So, what you're going to do today, I would love for you to roll out your yoga mat and do this, but just so you have a little more of a sacred space that feels like a practice.

[02:40] And if you have a tennis ball around the house, a lacrosse ball works really well, maybe you even have one of those yoga tune up balls, like one of those self-massage balls. If you have a foam roller or any kind of tool that you can use for self-massage, then bring it and use it. So if you have one of those tools, you'll place the ball or whatever it is you're working with in some area of either your upper back, maybe around the shoulder area where you're sensing that you're carrying some tension right now, and then come lying over the ball and be really mindful not to place the ball anywhere, you know, too close to the spine, never directly on the spine or on a bone, but some fleshy part of the upper back. And then gently lay back and you can choose how much weight you put into that part of the body of course will bring you more sensation, and if you shift weight away, you'll have less sensation.

[03:26] And then just roll around on that ball a little bit, take deep breaths and feel into whatever tension is present there. If you don't have any tools at all around your house, you'll do this with your hands. So you can literally use your hands, your fingertips, just dig into the upper back a little bit. I like to imagine as if I'm playing the piano with my fingers and just walk my fingers all the way up across my shoulder and up the trapezius, maybe all the way up into the neck. And then wherever I encounter something sensitive or something that feels a little tender, I'll pause there and linger for a little bit. And you can do this with oil or without. Just a couple of minutes of giving yourself that self-loving touch and the beautiful next level to this is of course, you know, we know that our touch with other people can be super powerful and we have this ability to bring other people healing energy when it's needed touch is so, so healing, but that also goes for touch toward ourselves.

[04:30] So using your own hands to bring about whatever it is that you need right now. You can set an intention for yourself massage session by really deciding what is the energy I want to give my own body through my own hands right now. So, if you're needing some calm, then really use that energy to connect from your hands into the shoulder, into the neck, maybe into your feet, into your calves, your thighs. Forearms are a great place for self-massage. We tend to carry a lot of tension in the form and the risks that we might not even be aware of. So, take today's self-care practice as a little experiment. If self-massage is a new thing for you, five minutes, maybe more just to get to know yourself and at the end of it, you'll feel a deeper connection to yourself and hopefully some more ease and freedom in the body as well. Thank you so much for taking this self-care tip home and getting intimate with yourself today. I'm excited for this as a Feel-Good Friday tip. Hope you feel good all weekend long. Take good care of yourself. Keep practicing self-care and Yoga Girl Daily will be back on Monday.

[End of Episode]