In Yoga Tune Up®, we teach sequences that allow you to explore your own inner landscape. That landscape is shaped by the use, misuse, and abuse of the body in every direction.

For example, when the weight of the world (a.k.a. your head) is pulling on your shoulders, you develop postural habits that make it harder to move. Tissues on the back (posterior) part of the neck and shoulders become locked into a lengthened position, while the front (anterior) tissues are locked short. This rounded-forward posture restricts the natural movement of the rib cage, making it harder to breathe and support a neutral spine. The upper trapezius bears the brunt of this stressed position.

Building a self-care toolbox provides you with important feedback from your body so that you can focus the areas that have become silent, and living better in your body is a great form of self-love.

So what if Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year? Yoga Tune Up® can help you unwind, relax, and treat yoself with some self-care.

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Fiona

Yes ,self care is giving back to our bodies and saying thank you for getting me through that challenging workout today. Today in class l called it giving TLC to our muscles.

Rea

Never enough rolling! So good! Especially on the shoulder-neck area is just so satisfying

Jenna Mitchell

Valentines days everyday. I will certainly do this roll. Thank you.

Carolyn

I love using the YTU balls for my shoulders and upper back! I often feel locked up in this area of the body and yes, just like you said at the end, you can feel the vertebrae just boom, boom, boom, boom – laid out. Awesomeness!

Duygu (Dee) Ozkan

Thank you Jill for this article. As a visual society we do most of the daily activities in that rounded forward posture. I love YTU and the RMM exercises because they are accessible in a way for everyone, every body. Just finished the YTU training cant wait to attend the RMM training soon.

Ashley

I find a huge difference in my classes when I do not take the time to give myself a moment of self-love before begin to expel information on people. In Laban Movement Analysis we call this going Inner before being Outer. My therapy balls have given me a great tool to receiving the inner quality while still mentally being outer with a classroom of students walking in the door.

Carol Anderson

This is a great way to slow down and nourish yourself. It feels so good to release the tension in your upper back/neck and reconnect with a deeper breath. Thank you I Love this sequence!!!

Sarah Millar

Thank you for sharing this, Jill. This is a great reminder that as a fitness/yoga instructor, I need to take my “teacher hat” off more often and focus on self-love.

Carole Giuliani (Thyret)

Every single time I get on my balls and explore my “inner landscape” I am so completely amazed at how tense I was…and yet had no idea! Thank you so much for giving us the power to heal ourselves!

Cordelia Orbach

The first time I did this in my YogaTune Up training I never wanted to get off of the balls! Now I do this every day and both me and my chiropractor have noticed significant improvements in my posture, alignment and upper back tension! I especially love the “big hug” and then cactusing my arms to the side for one last deep stretch. I shared this with my family and friends and they too think its incredible! Thanks!

Megan Venzin

My boyfriend deals with upper back pain as a result of working long hours in front of a computer (a familiar story for many of us). I was so excited to introduce him to the YTU therapy balls last week after learning how to use them in my YTT. I just wish I had known about these before . . . that could have been a great Valentine’s Day gift to him! That said, it’s never too late to share the love. 🙂

Sara

I love your succinct and pithy description of YTU self care. Especially like your use of the term “inner landscape.” As yo say, “Living better in your body is a great form ofself-love.”

KAREN

I love this, if I can find the compassion to take care of myself I am so much more available for those around me. Thank you for the reminder.

Tatjana Brandl

If you are not loving yourself, who else should do?
It is so hard to get you out of condemn yourself. But if we open our hearts and really listening to our inner child we will hear the answer. And the balls can help us to find hidden emotions. That’s great. 🙂

Isabelle Côté

The posture is so important. Asthma, for me, is no longer part of my life with some liberty of thoracique cage ! The tools to help us to have better elevation of us keep us near health. And better view of life ! Belle journée d’un peu plus haut pour voir un peu plus loin !

Robert Ouellet

Hi everybody!

This is almost my autoportrait. I reconise me as a car driver, computer user, Facebook acro, long time fast-food eater, no breath awareness… this is me and to many of my contemporary human being. Yoga Tune Up is my way to recovery.

Kirsty

Using the balls is totally new to me. I realize how much tension I carry in my upper back and how I need to implement more self-care on a regular basis. Self massage with the yoga tune up calls is definitely something I am going to add to my self-care tool box.

Alex Salomons

This is great. I have so much tension constantly in my upper back and neck that I quite often struggle with headaches and neck mobility issues. I have found that the rolling laid out in this post helps me a lot. Everything from my quality of sleep to beating my headaches to having an all around better attitude through my daily life. Rolling and YTU has changed my life in ways I never thought possible.

Thanks Jill!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike D

For years, I would always be hunched over my shoulders because I had bad body posture and I had no awareness to them. I have learned just stacking the head over the spine can loosen the tension in the neck and can open the rib cage for breathing. I feel we are constantly leaned over as a society to work on computers and electronic devices. But, I love when these back bends with the block and shoulder opening exercises with the therapy balls are fantastic.

christina uleano

I definitely see both the importance of self care and the connection to how lack there of can be so damaging to the body. I have a love hate relationship with the balls, but i will def try this !

Allison Pfeiffer

This is exactly what I see on my massage table everyday! I teach all my clients a little self love/self care, and I try to lead by example and love myself too 🙂 Great reminder!

bee pallomina

Love this sequence. My upper traps get so tight when working on a computer. Just did this sequence as a welcome break from homework!

Mari

I have realized the importance of self care and that its important to take the time to look after self. I’m looking forward to take what I’m learning and add yoga tune up in my own personal practice. The video is quite helpful as a reference.

Mari

I have realized the importance of self care and that its important to take the time to look after self. I’m looking forward to take what I’m learning and add yoga tune up in my own personal practice. The video is quite helpful as a reference tool.

Mari

I have realized the importance of self care and that its important to take the time to look after self. I’m looking forward to take what I’m learning and add yoga tune-up in my own personal practice. The video is quite helpful as a reference tool.

Julie

What a great technique to implement in my daily home care or self-care. I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, and this totally alleviated that feeling.

Julie

We did this today in my first day of YTU Level 1 training. I loved it. I felt so much relief in my shoulders when we were done the exercise. I will certainly be including this in my daily self-care.

Susan

I feel this message cannot be heard enough by wellness professionals. In my experience it can be so easy to give to others and burn out and not give time to myself. What I love about Tune Up Balls is I don’t have to go anywhere, or devote excessive time: which could detour me from even beginning. Consistent small sessions are such a great daily ritual instead of saving up for a long, rare self care session.

Ari

Over the last 6 months, I have come to believe greatly in the need for everyone, but especially fitness instructors, to take time for themselves and give themselves the gift of self-care. I began several months ago taking (not teaching!) a restorative yoga class at the gym where I manage the group fitness program. It has been such a fantastic, nurturing, relaxing experience that I would not trade for anything. My work schedule does not always permit me to go, but when I can I see it as a treasured luxury in my week – like getting a massage or… Read more »

Vernatha Montoute

I am a strong believer in self- care and taking the time to nurture ourselves. Last week I pulled a muscle in the back of my neck and was out of work for a week taking muscle relaxers in attempt to ease the pain. This week I experienced periods of relief yet there was still some restriction and pain. I am so thankful to have had Anatomy this weekend in my Yoga Service Teacher Training because the last 2 days of Yoga tune up has already began to provide an even bigger relief in my neck. It’s interesting how working… Read more »

Cindy DeCoste

On Tuesday, several people asked me if I had plans for Valentine’s Day. This year I gave myself the gift of doing Jill’s Yoga Link “Hip Helpers Practice”. It was an amazing gift of self-love, and just what I needed after a long day of sitting at work! I especially like how the class is a blend of stretching, strengthening, stabilizing and moving the hips through their many directions of movement (flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, internal and external rotation). I felt my abductor muscles (gluteus maximus, medius and minimus, TFL) and adductors (magnus, longus and brevis, gracilis, quadratus femoris) muscles… Read more »

Pam katz

Watching this was a helpful reinforcement of what we practiced the past two days. I knew the areas she was talking about too! 🙂
I’ll refer to this for awhile until I have it memorized.

Lauren

After regular rolling for a little over a year and half, I have made significant changes in my body. This week I had a massage from my massage therapist who i used to see monthly. Since rolling I haven’t felt the need to have a massage as much. My therapist could not believe the difference in my tissues. She said they were so supple and said it was a real testament to my consistent therapy ball work. A total win for self care!

Janelle Schiavi

I can truly relate to this article and video. I am 6ft tall and struggled in my teens and early 20’s with insecurity about my height. As a result, I hunched over to appear smaller. Now in my 30’s I have immense tension in my upper back and neck from chronically standing completely out of alignment. I will truly benefit from these exercises and can’t wait to get started. Thank you, Janelle

Janelle Schiavi

I can truly relate to this article and video. I am 6ft tall and struggled in my teens and 20’s with insecurity about my height. As a result, I hunched over to appear smaller. Now in my 30’s, I have immense tension in my upper back and neck, completely out of alignment. I will truly benefit from these exercises and can’t wait to get started. Thank you, Janelle

Suzanne

Interesting about using the balls is that it’s not someone else’s hands on you. You become very intimate with your own body. Right now, as I’m learning Anatomy, massage takes on a totally new meaning. It’s not just about sensation. It is actually about where the balls are touching specific parts of my body. And knowing these body parts feels like a whole new landscape, the balls plus Anatomy are a threshold to a whole new landscape.

Jillian Szafranski

I did this today in my first day of YTU certification/training with Trina Altman. I am currently struggling from whiplash from a really fun day sledding in the snow. I am continuously amazed by how much old I hold in my neck and spine area. The relief I felt nearly brought tears to my eyes.

Katy Forline

The connection between thoracic mobility and breath is so huge! As long time massage therapist I have seen nearly every client on my table have this problem. It is an epidemic! The proprioceptive awareness that is gained by rolling on YTU balls while breathing and feeling each rib remember how to articulate is amazing, and while you’re doing this you suddenly realize your heart has opened up just a little to self and others:)