Foam roller usually used as a rehab prop. It is light weight and flexible. The cylindrical shape makes it rolling under you and the foam makes it comfortable. It could easily ease the tight muscles as well as improve its flexibility. Foam roller is not that popular among yogis as it is for the athletes and other physical exercises. It has as much benefits as it for other exercises.
Yoga is all about stretches. The foam roller coaster yoga helps to get those stretches without hurting yourself. It makes it easy for those who have too stiff muscles. Beginners can get maximum benefits with foam roller to attain the yoga poses easier.
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Benefits of foam roller coaster yoga
There are many benefits of foam roller. In yoga, it has 3 particular advantages that affect the 3 part of the body. These parts are the IT band- the sides of the thighs, upper spinal area, and the calves. Having the foam roller under these parts can ease the muscles and reduce pain of doing the yoga poses.
- By lying down on your sides, get the foam roller under the IT band muscles. Slowly move up and down rolling over the foam to ease the pain and soreness on the muscles. This is especially beneficial if you spend too much time in the chair pose. Just makes sure that the foam roller does not reach your knees while doing the rolling.
- Stretch your spine and give it some rest by supporting the upper back with the foam roller. Lie down on your back and insert the foam roller under the shoulder blades. Get the hips off the floor and balance the body on the roller and the heels. Slowly roll up and down and have the roller massage the upper back area.
- Downward facing dog pose is particularly difficult for the beginners. Having the foam roller under the calves can ease the pain and make the pose easier for them. Use it as the support prop for this pose. It could also be used as a massager. Sit down on the floor with the legs stretched. Have the foam roller under the calves and raise the hip off the ground. Roll over the roller by supporting on your hands. You could do this exercise with both the legs on the roller and one leg at a time. While doing the one leg rolling, keep the other leg over.
What not to do with the foam roller in yoga
Never use the foam roller directly on the muscle that hurts. Instead use the prop a few inches above this sensitive spot. Take your time as it won’t go easily.
Always roll slowly over the foam roller. Fast rolling does not bring faster relief.
Too much time is also a waste to spend on the foam roller. Spend only about 20-30 seconds on each part. Foam roller exerts pressure on the sensitive areas. Spending too much time could cause damage to the nerves than providing you any relief. So have a care there.
Foam roller is good only when you get the posture right. Remember, it cannot realign the body to get the posture right.
There has been quite a few suggestions on using the foam roller for the lower back to ease the pain. In real, that could be dangerous. The lower back pain is due to the wring alignment of the spine and having the support under this area will not ease the pain. Instead use the foam roller under the knees to ease the pain in lower back area.
Beginners should never use the foam roller in your daily yoga practice. Use it occasionally or on alternate days. Once they get used to the prop, use it daily for shorter duration.