I returned home from YTU Level 1 training absolutely gleeful to introduce my clients to the wonders of YTU Therapy Balls. I bought a small case of them for my studio classes and to sell. I expected to be placing a reorder immediately as people clamored for Therapy Balls for family and friends after having used the balls in class. The balls sat in their shipping box, untouched and not touching anybody else.
Undaunted, I offered a special 90-minute YTU Therapy Ball-only Head-to-Toe Massage class. 2 people signed up. Afterwards they said it was ok, but doubt they’d take it again.
What’s wrong with you people? Their answer: it hurts.
While trying to address soft tissue, muscular and joint imbalances thru YTU exercises, all the shoulder flossing and pelvic primers in the world did not prepare my clients for the intense sensations they would encounter rolling around on the Therapy Balls. Despite the fact that they are taking care of themselves from the inside out, many of my clients do not receive manual massage on a regular basis and therefore aren’t used to precise, deep external pressure on their muscles. No wonder their full body weight on the Therapy Balls had my students glued to the ceiling, eyes popping out of their heads and gasping for air.
I felt like I was doing more harm than good, making them more tense, not less.
And so I began to modify. A lot.
In one case I physically rolled the balls on a client’s shoulders because she just couldn’t get into her supraspinatus effectively on her own.
For those clients who were supersensitive, I had them do every conceivable ball exercise against the wall. This was tremendously helpful for hips (ball between the glutes and the wall, roll a bulls-eye target on the gluteus maximus; stand sideways to a wall with a ball on the gluteus medius, make psychic bicycles) and spine (mow up and down the length of the spine—stop in a squat, make snow angel or firing squad arms and take both arms through a range of motion—also great thigh work as they hold those squats).
As the muscles most superficial to the skin began to relax and it was easier to go deeper with the ball work, I had clients come back to the floor, but layered a blanket between them and the Therapy Balls. While that made it a little tricky to move around on the balls, it allowed them to relax in one place on the spine and experience the sensation more gradually. Over time, we have removed layers of blankets and now the majority of my clients are able to work with the balls alone.
So much of this work is about meeting clients where they are to get them somewhere they never thought they could go. And now the balls are going home with them. In volume.
Get the YTU Therapy Ball Full Body Series and play with your props—change the orientation of the ball work they way you’d change the orientation of a pose! Your students will love your creative genius.
Learn about our Therapy Ball Programs.
Learn about Yoga Tune Up at home.