Gwen Yeager-Stofko (E-RYT 500, C-IAYT) is a private and group Hatha Yoga Instructor, Certified Yoga Therapist and Integrated Yoga Tune Up® Teacher based in Los Angeles. Her classes blend ancient yoga philosophy, the teachings of 20th century "modern" yoga, and the latest research and science about yoga, movement, and the brain. Known for her understanding of anatomy and biomechanics, intelligent sequencing, clear instruction, warmth and humor, Gwen teaches newer yogis who want clear guidance in a welcoming environment, students with injuries and those managing chronic conditions, and athletes and yoga practitioners who want to deepen their practice by further refining their proprioception, posture, and understanding of the fundamental movements of their bodies. Gwen is a 2007 graduate of YogaWorks' 200-hour teacher training, and a 2008 graduate of YogaWorks' 300-hour professional program, where she mentored with Iyengar teacher Carmen Fitzgibbon. In January 2012 Gwen traveled to Kripalu to take the Yoga Tune Up® teacher training with yogi and fitness expert Jill Miller, a wonderful experience that deepened, refined and expanded Gwen's views on human movement and yoga teaching. Gwen has taken all associated YTU Immersions and regularly assists Jill at workshops and trainings. Gwen leads classes, workshops and trainings in Los Angeles and surrounding vicinities. gwenyeager.com
Hi Gwen! I didn’t know you had all these wonderful videos online! This one really helped me since I get tension headaches often (and I grind my teeth in my sleep too.) Look forward to checking out more of your videos 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!
Great video. I always have a lot of tension in my head and neck from grinding my teeth. Massaging the temples is a go to and I am excited to try it with a ball too!
I have chronic TMJ and am really looking forward to trying this out. I mostly have pain under the lower jaw though. any massage techniques for that?
I have TMJ and suffer from jaw pain, stiffness, and tightness. I began a treatment to stabilize my jaw two years ago, which entailed me wearing what the orthodontists called a “splint.” This treatment was effective, and I will get into braces on Monday. Although I am aware of special days of pain, I am not always aware of the daily tightness and tension in my jaw — I’ve normalized it. I have done the Yoga Tune Up ball routine for the neck and jaw as demonstrated by Jill, and it has helped tremendously! This routine was also very effective because I am not really thinking about my temporalis when I am trying to release my jaw — I now realize how tense it is due to the TMJ! I did this routine and although it was intense, I found that I was able to breath more freely. I did some pranayama after, and I found that my pectoralis muscle wasn’t clenching as much (I have tight shoulders). Relieving the tension in the temporalis helped me to tap into that allusive parasympathetic nervous system! Thank you, Gwen!
From pain, an increasing lateral deviation in my jaw, to more pain and eventually jaw surgery, then recovery and battles with headaches, I always look for techniques that can help me release tension. As a massage therapist, I often self-treat my temporalis but often, I trigger a headache if it was not there. I was curious to try using a ball instead of my fingers and it seems to relieve tension without activating trigger points. Thank you for a detailed video, useful techniques for me and to share with my patients and students.
Who knew that something so simple as rolling a ball could relieve so much tension in your head and neck? The first time that I tried this, I used too much pressure, so it is wise to start slow and build slowly, at least for me. I am new to using balls in this way so it is a learning experience. I can really see the benefits.
Thank you for sharing this video!!! I tried this technique this morning it is the best thing ever to relieve my TMJ pain. I will be doing this everyday and will share it with my students in my yoga classes.
Ahhhhhh… It felt so good to use this technique on my temples. I did not realize how tight my left side was. I had jaw surgery last year and never thought that it would have such an impact on the health of my muscles in the temple. I wonder where all of this tightness rebounded all the way down my body? It will be interesting to see what calms down once I get this area back in order.
Phenomenal video! Thank you for sharing. I’m constantly clenching my teeth in my sleep or while I read (horrendous posture with my cervical spine in hyperextension and jaw clenched shut by resting on my palms staring ahead) and can never quite get the necessary release. I practice the sequence and found myself spending a lot of time around the insertion point on the coronoid process. Are there techniques that you recommend to also massage the masseter muscle? Or perhaps my residual tension is originating from my neck due to my reading posture…
Thank you very much for sharing this video! I’ve had problems with grinding my teeth in my sleep since high school… when I learned about the function of the Temporalis it finally gavemeaning to my morning headaches.
After trying the techniques you demonstrated in your video, it helped me to understand new ways to elevate the stress!
Fascinating segment. Thanks Gwen!
I’m intrigued how yoga tune up challenges my clients and I to explore and ease tension in parts of the body that are easily ignored. The shoulders and hips get most of the attention but details like the head and jaw can bring rapid relief to so many people, some who end up on medication for chronic headaches and even cognitive fatigue. Would you recommend any rolling techniques that can help the occipital region of the head and maybe impact vision or visual fatigue?