Meet my sweet client Sara. Poor thing was my first victim right after the yoga class that spent twenty minutes on releasing trigger points. As I said, there was a lot of moaning and groaning initially, and then some very deep and satisfied sighs. 🙂 I decided to experiment with her. She is a great sport about doing whatever crazy thing I throw her way!
If you don’t have a yoga block, use a firm pillow or a roll of paper towels. Additionally, you don’t have to get on the floor on your yoga mat; try the couch or a bed instead. Try holding for 90 seconds to release and start to reset the targeted area.
Trigger point spot #1: neck and upper back
Place the two tennis balls just to the side of your neck just below the top of your shoulder. Put the block under your hips. Dig around to find the tight spots. When your breath catches in a really tight spot, remember to exhale!
As you settle into this upper shoulder/neck release, see about changing your arm position and extend your arm to the side like Sara is here.
Trigger point spot #2: shoulder blades and mid thoracic spine
Now you are going to take the tennis balls and place them in the space in between your spine and shoulder blade. Hips again on the block. Sara lifted her arm overhead here just to demo the ball placement.
Again, start with your arm at your side and then extend your arm out to the side.
Trigger point spot #3:
If you know your anatomy, you are targeting T12, or the 12th thoracic vertebrae. This is just below the bottom edge of the ribcage. Place the tennis balls there, hips on the block or pillow, and bring your bent knees toward your chest. Breathe.
Once you have the basic position accomplished, try taking your bent knees and rolling them to the side like Sara is doing here. Take another deep diaphragmatic breath!
Trigger point spot #4:
The meaty hip muscles– the three layers of glutes!
Roll on your side and slide the tennis ball into the meaty part of the hip. Sara demos the start position here.
Your next step is to gently roll your hip back onto the ball. Look at Sara’s face. Enough said. 🙂
How does that feel, now that you are done? I drive my car with two tennis balls in a sock in my mid-back almost all of the time, so I’m used to digging into my muscles this way. How about you?