08 Jan 5 Ways Yamuna Body Rolling Can Change Your Mind and Body
Mika Childs is a Yamuna® Body Rolling (YBR) practitioner based in Tokyo with over 8 years of experience in teaching the YBR Method shares how the practice has changed her clients in bod and mind.
Mika fell in love with marathon running in her early 40s, qualifying for the Tokyo Women’s Marathon in 2008. However, after struggling with serious injuries, she began looking for methods to heal and work on body sustainability. After discovering the YBR Method, Mika flew to New York to meet its founder, Yamuna Zake, who inspired and encouraged Mika to pursue the instructor path and spread the YBR Method to Hong Kong.
Mika became Hong Kong’s first qualified YBR instructor, leading one-on-one and group lessons at Flex Studios. In 2014, Mika returned to New York and became qualified as an instructor’s training teacher, helping more instructors to achieve their qualifications in Hong Kong.
Mika has now returned to her home country of Japan, where she hopes to take her years of experience and help people in her community reach body sustainability.
What is Yamuna® Body Rolling?
Yamuna®️ Body Rolling (YBR) is a self care method and therapeutic technique, which combines health, well-being and injury prevention. By using a Yamuna ball to roll out tissue from origin to insertion, you can release muscle tightness and improve your flexibility. The YBR method goes deep into the muscle, improving your muscle alignment and blood circulation. Most importantly, the YBR method gives you a wonderful understanding of your own body and teaches you how to self-heal.
Yamuna® Body Rolling (YBR) is a technique that has been around for 30 years now, having taken the US by storm. Today, over 450 certified practitioners and more than 2,000 holistic practitioners worldwide are using Yamuna Balls to self-heal from bone to muscle.
It elongates the muscles
YBR is one way of conducting “self-myofascial release”, like giving yourself a massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This is done by using a ball to roll out tissue from origin to insertion. The many benefits include increased flexibility and breaking down of scar tissue, to name a few.
Yamuna’s method goes deep into the muscle and beyond to “wake up the bone”. “You’ll feel there’s a certain sensation at that point, and then the muscle just begins to unwind,” says Yamuna. “The minute you hold the ball on a spot, then roll the ball as little as one cm, you’re elongating and toning muscle, increasing the range of motion in your joints.”
“When using the Yamuna ball, focus your mind, body and breath as you sink into the ball. Relax and wait until your muscles feel like they are melting into the ball – that is the body telling you that your fascia has started to soften, elongate and release,” says Mika.
Mika’s clients have reported being able to recover space in all their joints, which has freed the movement of their bodies. “A lot of pain is created in our joints when we lose the spaces in between our bones,” she says. “It’s been great to see how body rolling brings that back, elongating the muscle.”
It improves alignment
With all muscles, Yamuna says it is important to work in alignment with the natural order of how they work. “Over and over I see challenging issues mainly due to poor posture,” says Yamuna. “People often break down in the same areas because of wrong alignment in the body.”
“Using the Yamuna ball helps bring your body back into optimum functional health in a very relaxed way,” says Mika. “Once your body moves more freely, your muscles become more balanced and your body will be more correctly aligned.”
“In my work helping my clients to align their bodies, I can see them successfully attaining a stress free body, which leads to stress free mind!” says Mika.
It deepens the breathing
“I literally have a better body at the age of 60 than I did when I was 30,” says Yamuna. She attributes this not only to her increased body awareness and thus far fewer injuries. “I have also dramatically improved my lung capacity – did you know that most of us only use 25% of our breathing capacity?”
One of Yamuna’s workshops this month involves training the breath and increasing awareness in the breathing process to maximize benefits to the body. These include releasing inner tension, freeing restricted areas and becoming more relaxed and peaceful in a meditative state.
“We need to use breathing in Yamuna Body Rolling,” says Mika. “This increases relaxation and the response of body and mind.”
It gives you a better understanding of your own body
“Our clients really need to listen to their own body’s voice, and this happens through the YBR session,” says Mika. “They get to know their bodies… allowing us to self-heal.”
“I can tell you these effects are instant, and all will experience remarkable changes in their body after just one session,” Mika continues. “It’s similar to but better than any massage they can get, because they open up restricted areas through body rolling, creating spaces and developing an intuitive understanding of their own anatomy.”
Mika believes we do not need to rely on someone else, because we can fix our bodies by ourselves, which led Yamuna to developing this technique three decades ago. “We can do this by just learning your own voice from your body… we change from within,” says Mika.
“When I do YBR, I listen to my own body’s voice. When I put my hands on my clients, I can hear their body’s voice… we learn how to communicate with our body through YBR sessions,” Mika says. “Learning YBR is like learning a new language. Yamuna balls can help our clients feel, listen and hear the messages from their own body – like a translator.”
It improves your circulation
As YBR is intrinsically linked to working on the fascial system, its way of Myofascial Release (MFR) eases the fascia – a fibrous network that covers the entire body from head to toe. This not only helps restore flexibility and range of motion, ease tension to muscles, organs and tissues, but also improves the function of the nervous and circulatory systems.
A 3D spiderweb of membranes, the fascial system wraps the muscles, blood vessels and nerves and connects the musculoskeletal, circulatory and nervous systems. In layman’s terms, Mika says that better blood circulation leads to a brightening of facial color and mood improvement, as she observes among her clients.
Personally trained by the fitness legend Yamuna Zake herself, Mika will be at Flex Studio Singapore from 25th to 29 January 2024 for a series of Yamuna® Body Rolling (YBR) workshops.
Save Your Pelvis with YBR
26 January Friday, 6:30 pm to 8 pm
YBR for Head, Neck & Shoulder
27 January Saturday, 1 pm to 2:30 pm
Save Your Back with YBR
27 January Saturday, 3pm to 4:30 pm
YBR for Better Posture
28 January Sunday, 10 am to 11:30 am
Each workshop is $150 per person
(includes a Yamuna® Ball worth $45!)
Private sessions with Mika are also available.
Book a mat soon!
Yamuna® Body Rolling (YBR) workshops with Kazuyo Forrer
Save Your Upper Back with YBR – 20 January
YBR For Hip Flexor and Quads – 17 February
Save Your Lower Back with YBR – 16 March
YBR For Runners – 20 April
YBR For Better Posture – 18 May
YBR For Head, Neck and Shoulders – 15 June