YTU balls illuminate our body blind spots.  Body blind spots are places in our bodies we are not aware of.  We all have blind spots, and if not found they can be the source of pain and injury. They are our jagged edges.

Yoga Tune Up® balls illuminate blind spots, cultivating awareness. Through practice we learn how to strategically use the YTU balls‘ magic. Excavation of tissues not only shines a light of awareness, but begins to change the structure of muscle fibers, liquefying, realigning, nourishing and revitalizing our tissues. When we use or overuse our muscles the fibers break and tear. As they heal, if there is no attention and care given, they will regenerate and lay in a haphazard way. This sets up conditions for a weaker infrastructure and bigger tearing to occur down the road and/or forming of adhesions. Massaging with YTU balls helps break up adhesions and realign muscle fibers so they are healthier and stronger. It’s like how dropping a box of toothpicks creates a haphazard pile all going in different directions. If you roll your hand over the tooth picks in one direction eventually the toothpicks will realign.

How did my balls roll off my mat? Let’s say, I can see my life fibers realigning. The process of changing the structure of our muscles or patterns in our life may not always be pleasant.  Living life fully can be a bumpy ride but that’s what keeps us healthy. You can be cruising down the road of life and bump right into a relationship drama, like finding a knot or trigger point. In relationships and in soft tissue, communication is key. Having spent most of my life trying to avoid difficult discussions, I know the only way to heal is to go into the discomfort. Just like rolling out my infraspinatus, very tender and uncomfortable!  I know to breathe and stay present with the discomfort. I get to work rolling, kneading, and pushing on the tensegrity of my life with as much honesty and compassion as I can muster. Breaking up adhesions and liquefying fascial connections, changing up old patterns, and bringing me back to my authenticity.

I am awakening more and more to blind spots in my life. YTU Therapy Balls seek, shine and realign. Being a part of the Yoga Tune Up® world, I admire the courageous souls who are excavating their tissues or issues. The healing is the same: locate, roll, knead, stretch, pin and breathe. Some problems may be too raw and sensitive and space is needed. With persistence, patience and kindness we heal. Healing ourselves is always the same whether it’s a muscle or a relationship, it’s uncomfortable but once we get past the fear of the pain we may wake up and realize we are kinder and stronger than we know. We begin to break free of old patterns.   No matter which layer we are working on, physical, mental or spiritual, it’s all connected; like fascia, we can’t work on one part without affecting the others. If we have the courage to look and explore we begin to create a much healthier and ultimately stronger and happier life.

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Sandy Byrne

Sandy comes from 12 years of traditional yoga background, infusing her expertise in traditional yoga with the science of movement in an intelligent, creative and purposeful way. Sandy is 200 hr. RYT and an Integrated Therapeutic Yoga Tune Up® Teacher, Licensed Massage Therapist, and business owner of River Rock Yoga & Wellness Center. Sandy assists Jill Miller, creator of Yoga Tune Up®, nationally and is a lead teacher trainer in the Yoga Tune Up® community. Sandy ignites a curiosity in her students finding an empowered and embodied experience of themselves and the world.

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Maureen

What a great article, Sandy. Thank you for the light bulb moment in my life. I really never made the correlation between my physical and emotional connections and the way rolling out can make me feel and heal both emotionally and physically. It brings everything out to the surface. Thanks again. This has helped me so much!

Robin

I love the toothpick analogy. That is a perfect description. It is so easy to take care of our muscles by rolling basically anytime and any where. Thanks for the great comparison of healing our bodies and our relationships!

Lisa Federico

Having come out the other end of many turbulent years in my personal life and finding YTU and Roll Model all at the same time is an amazing tribute to sometimes needing let go of the kite strings and let life unfold. Your description with toothpicks and also heading into discomfort is memorable applied to life….I need to first be aware, then be open, then dive in and ‘roll’ with compassion through relationship with myself and others. Thank you Sandy!

Sarah Harmon

I love this post! I’m always looking for analogies and the one about toothpicks is fantastic! (ie. Massaging with YTU balls helps break up adhesions and realign muscle fibers so they are healthier and stronger. It’s like how dropping a box of toothpicks creates a haphazard pile all going in different directions. If you roll your hand over the tooth picks in one direction eventually the toothpicks will realign.) I think this is a great way to help new rollers understand how the balls work and why ball work is important. I also love that you mention how it takes… Read more »

Tiffany

I like to roll my feet at my standing desk while I’m stuck on conference calls. A calming little foot massage to help with the drudgery!

Patricia

I like the comparison of life and balls working through our bag of “stuff”.

I like doing the hard stuff as it feels good to let go of the stress; it is the after affects that are sometimes the issue.

The balls remind me of how I have not been taking care of myself even though I have the best of intentions (we all do) – the pain is real and very uncomfortable but I understand that with rest and then perseverance, I will move on all the wiser and more aware of my body and its challenges.

Sarah

Thanks, Sandy. I am not very sensitive with myself, especially around healing and being patient. You give me some hope, to keep trying.

Elizabeth Bond

Thank you Sandy for this beautiful line, “Healing ourselves is always the same whether it’s a muscle or a relationship”. This is so true. I love the Yoga Tune Up therapy balls and exercises because they illuminate your body blind spots while giving you tools to heal it yourself. I’ve found that often when I become aware of a weakness certain emotions such as defensiveness and fear accompany this discovery. Identifying these patterns and overcoming them with calm abdominal thoracic breathing while rolling on YTU Therapy Balls has allowed me to do the same in my life off the mat.

Gabriela

Sandy, this is a great article! “Breaking up adhesions and liquefying fascial connections, changing up old patterns, and bringing me back to my authenticity” this resonated so much with me. For the past years I’ve been studying different philosophies, training on different meditation methods, attending workshops on self awareness, reading a lot. I had all these concepts on my mind well read and known. With time, I could notice how much more aware of things I was than before. However, couldn’t say I have digest everything I’ve learned/read so far. Until I started practicing Yoga, moving my body helped me… Read more »

Nicole Adell

Thank you Sandy! What a wonderful way to describe the paralles in rolling and life, it’s all the same. “With persistence, patience and kindness we heal”

Melanie Burns

Love this post for so many reasons – especially how you described choosing to lean into discomfort versus a pattern of avoiding difficult converstions, and how working with the YTU balls softens the resistance and allows newer patterns to emerge.

Kerry Cruz

“No matter which layer we are working on, physical, mental or spiritual, it’s all connected; like fascia, we can’t work on one part without affecting the others.” This holds so true to me. Being a student of my body and always a work in progress mentally, spiritually and and especially emotionally, breaking up adhesions and liquefying fascial connections is another great way for to always starting new. Thanks for the inspiration Sandy 🙂

Michelle Corbeil

Thank you for the reminder that it is all connected! I too am finding that the balls are finding blind spots in my body and they are pointing to blind spots in my life. The balls are helping me to get back into my body as I have been beside myself trying to deal with an uncomfortable situation.

Claire

Thanks you Sandy for that reminder of how are pains are more than “what meets the eyes” In my experience rarely if ever is the pain right where we point. To go deeper into our muscles, our heart and souls the truths do come out. That can be painful to go though and sometimes , most of the time it doesn’t all come out at once. As we continue to seek, love and nurture our selves and give our selves the time to heal the results can and will be amazing. Self care is our ultimate health care. Thank you… Read more »

Karen

Thanks so much for this post. A great reminder that sometimes we need to go in to the pain to get through it – both in life and with our tissues. As one of my favorite buddhist nun’s says you have to “lean in” – those painful spots may not dissipate or disappear with one or two attempts at leaning in but the important part is to be aware of them and to realize when they are talking to you and asking you to lean in a little more! With persistence we may work it out!! With issues both in… Read more »

Kate

I love this as a reminder to use discomfort to our advantage. Yes, certain areas may feel stuck or raw when we really get into them, but with enough time and patience, we have the power to unravel those points of tension ourselves. Some spots are truly unknown “blind spots” we may be able to dive in, roll out and heal. Other spots that have been with us longer, that we’re aware of but maybe afraid to tackle because we think the work will be for naught, that we won’t really change. These are the spots that we have to… Read more »

Corey

I love how this article expands to the positive points of the therapy balls beyond muscle fibers. The balls have helped me gain self compassion. There are more issues with tissues than just tight muscles.

Jen Wende

Thank you for the toothpick imagery and thank you for the connection of our physical tension with emotional tension. I have noticed in my own life a build of of physical tension when I have higher amounts of stress. I have also been taken off guard with a few tense spots that I not only released physically, they also gave me a great emotional release!.

Cindy DeCoste

Sandy, thank you so much for sharing your holistic perspective on healing! You synthesize so beautifully how the approach and experience of ball rolling to heal our bodies is analogous to healing relationships and other aspects or adversities in our lives. It’s certainly been my experience that in order to heal I must first face and FEEL the discomfort. The more I stay open to and embrace this way of life, the more I find new and fulfilling ways to grow, thrive and feel pleasure in my life, and the more I want to share this process with others. Patience,… Read more »

Jill D

This was such a great read and a wonderful perspective on how this work is really a wholesome experience and not just about the physical body. YTU has definitely helped me uncover blind spots and to work into the knots and tough areas, that at one time, I would have rather avoided. Because of this I am more confident and courageous in ways I was not before. Love the last sentence – it really is all connected! “No matter which layer we are working on, physical, mental or spiritual, it’s all connected; like fascia, we can’t work on one part… Read more »

natalie JP

I’ve heard the criticism that YTU isn’t “yoga” and sure we can craft a response starting with defining what yoga is. Here is an example of how YTU truly is yoga because it is creating self-awareness and providing you with the tools to confront and overcome the discomfort within our bodies which is easily translated off the mat. If you can roll out the most painful kinks of your physical body, then ending a bad relationship should be a cake walk.

Helen McAvoy

What a great read 1st thing in the mooring! Thank you Sandy!! Inspiring for all!

Sunina Young

Great analogy you use about difficult conversations you’d rather avoid- like many of us. The ASIS was a blind spot for me, and it’s a difficult “conversation” to have, grunting and all! But it is a must and I feel so much more free afterwards. Great article!

Liz Swift

Just today we working with the balls in class. We did happy baby before and after the use of balls. Then we rolled across and up and down our lumbar and sternum region, we lifted our legs to create more pressure on the balls. Just doing this took my breath away bc it hurt so much. But when we tried happy baby again, I felt relieved and refreshed. I am definitely hooked. Thank you YTU!

Stephanie F. Osmena

IF ONLY BODY MAINTENANCE WERE THAT EASY! HAVING THE YTU BALLS ARE A BENEFIT AND SUPPLIES A FREE MASSAGE. YIPEE!

Melissa

I love this! Connecting damaged tissues to emotional issues! This week has been opening my blind spots everywhere, from muscles I thought where fine, to a posture I thought was great. One thing clicked and blind spots have been opening up lift, right and medially (literally). Remembering to breathe and not run is probably the hardest thing, but the more resistance to a posture or sensation the more you need to examine it! Great post, Thanks!

Morgan Ward

My first experience with YTU balls was yesterday and it was utterly eye opening. I’ve had knots in my right shoulder that are extremely difficult for my to target, but with the YTU balls I was able to get straight to the point. I noticed a significant change in my practice, specifically in down dog. It’s an amazing comfort to know that I can be my own masseuse and relief is just a roll away.

Emily

Love this post! A lovely theme in previous power yoga training emphasized “creating space within the body.” When I shared this concept with my somewhat more skeptic older sister, she said, “Well what does that mean?” In the foundational years of my yoga practice, the notion of creating full expression, journeying inwards to create full expression outwards….felt quite liberating to “move stuck energy” and counteract the introverted holding patterns of my adolescence and teenage years. Now, almost 27, I am entering a more mature phase of life and my yoga practice. Studying YTU is a more deliberate, more sophisticated freeing… Read more »

Emily

Love this pose! A lovely theme in previous power yoga training emphasized “creating space within the body.” When I shared this concept with my somewhat more skeptic older sister, she said, “Well what does that mean?” In the foundational years of my yoga practice, the notion of creating full expression, journeying inwards to create full expression outwards….felt quite liberating to “move stuck energy” and counteract the introverted holding patterns of my adolescence and teenage years. Now, almost 27, I am entering a more mature phase of life and my yoga practice. Studying YTU is a more deliberate, more sophisticated freeing… Read more »

Lenny Herb

My friend Jona Joyce who is a YTU Level 1 instructor and a trainer introduced me to the therapy balls. I immediately loved what they did for me and the possibilities for my clients. I’m looking forward to taking all the classes I can with the therapy balls!

Dawnn

This is so true!!! I love the yoga tune up balls. Although they can create discomfort at times, usually I feel better after the pain is over. This is also true of difficult situations in life, while you are experiencing the pain and discomfort, it’s hard, but after you’ve gone through it and made it through, you look back and realize how much that challenging situation changed you for the better. Yoga translates over to our daily lives, and the yoga tune up balls help to bring awareness to areas in our bodies where we may be holding things or… Read more »

Renee holden

Thanks Sandy for this in-depth and intimate topic in YTU therapy balls, and your experience with them. These wonderful little balls, have literally changed my life as well! They show us that even when we feel we are at the top of our game, or we have no physical issues to deal with, there is always a space in our bodies that deserve some attention! I find that I carry my tension in my glutes, in fact I’m a butt clincher….. So inevitably I can go to the floor or the wall, and strip my piriformis, or my glutes Maximus… Read more »

joan katz

Just began 200 hr TT this week and had the pleasure of being instructed by Sarah Court in our first Yoga Tune Up. After three days of learning and refining asanas I was sore. Using the YTU balls for my upper back was invigorating. I will continue to use them therapeutically for improved awareness as well as relief from overuse.

Sharon Shanti

Thank you Sandy for writing from your heart and for helping us to shine a light on our own blind spots!

Katherine M

This makes so much sense to me. Adding the yoga tune up balls to my practice has meant learning to investigate and heal myself, learning to understand and work with my body. Certainly, this is an incredible philosophy to approaching life’s challenges too- ignoring them won’t make them go away! Throughout my own life I have struggled to confront the things that make me uncomfortable and use those experiences to grow, and to investigate and find solutions to the things that worry me. This is what my yoga practice has helped to teach me, and the therapy balls fit right… Read more »

Yasmen Mehta

As a dancer I used a lot of tennis balls during my career. The YTU balls however have changed my shoulder life. I am trap’ crazy and hold all my tension there. Just about 2 -3 minutes of working with them I can sleep better and wake up better. That means a better deeper sleep for me that effects the whole day. It’s strange how one small simple thing can change your life. I think YTU balls should be a part of every corporate stationary cupboard. Have a nasty encounter with the boss – go role on the YTU balls!

Meredith Brockriede

This post connects the physical and emotional aspects of yoga so well. Sometimes we get so focused on what is happening in our physical bodies that we shut out the clear emotional signals our tissues are sending. The true opportunity for growth and change is when we can stay present to our entire experience, both physical and emotional as described so beautifully in the post above.

Leslie Van Schaack

I also love the analogy between the working of mental/physical/spritiual/emotional issues… it is true the finding certain spots with the balls just seem too painful and it is so easy to just pull away and say “nope! hurts too much”. But then the problem area just gets more and more hidden and tied up and eventually causes other areas of our bodies to have pain and problems. Such w/ our personal lives- there are areas or issues we just gloss over or say “too hard or too emotional to deal with”, or “i’ll just ignore it” but those issues will… Read more »

Lisa Harris

I love this analogy. I have recently been doing some digging into the “fascia” of one of my relationships and and investigating the connection between the issues and some physical pain I have been having. This writing rings so true. “excavating their tissues or issues – The healing is the same: locate, roll, knead, stretch, pin and breathe.” I’m ready to do the work and from now on when I roll on the balls, I will view it with this new frame of mind.

JL

Love love love this blog. Much of what I do with my clients is give them the mental aspect of what it takes to get them sucessfully to their goals. I think using the analogy of muscle tenderness and relationship tenderness is such a great way to explain it. I have been struggling over how to explain YTU and it’s effects on the body and how it relates to their life without freaking them out as rolling around on a ball for some can see strange. Thanks

Genevieve

Thank you Sandy. That was poetic. “No matter which layer we are working on, physical, mental or spiritual, it’s all connected; like fascia, we can’t work on one part without affecting the others. If we have the courage to look and explore we begin to create a much healthier and ultimately stronger and happier life.” The first step is often the hardest, with the balls, and with life in general. If we can get our students to take that first step, at the very least, they will experience something new worth investigating.

Pam

This reminds me of when my husband came home and complained about his upper back. He wanted me to spend hours massaging this spot in his upper back (which was his levator scap muslce) – then one day I realized he could be using the Yoga Tune up balls … so I gave him a 1 minute demo and he tried it for 5 minutes and he had 15 minutes of relief for the first time in 2 months! He was hooked. He even took the balls to work to ball roll his “sore” spot through out the day. Just… Read more »

Cat

I love the fact that you brought the balls outdoors. I leave a pair of my YTU balls at work and I bring them on vacation, you come in handy to relieve the day’s build up of stress (especially when working at a computer and sitting down for a good part of my day), or for when something wreaks havoc on my muscles (like sleeping on a bad pillow in a hotel). Addressing tension early is important in maintaining overall good health and not letting it bring you down.

Tomoko

“Healing ourselves is always the same whether it’s a muscle or a relationship”
It’s so true. Once you face to the fear instead of avoiding it, you will be able to figure it out what you need to do in order to heal….
and you will be happer and gaining a confident.

Mary Ruth

Great life application! It can be tough to work into those sensitive areas, but most often those are the areas where we derive the greatest benefits!