During my pregnancy, every morning brought on a new challenge for my body. I woke up feeling tight in areas that I never knew were restricted. I felt pain and stiffness from lying in a position for too long during sleep. I felt instability in my joints; a result of relaxin, the hormone secreted during pregnancy that relaxes the ligaments around the pelvis. Adding self-myofascial release (SMR) to my regular yoga practice brought me so much relief from pain and tension on a daily basis, and enhanced my mobility.
What Is Self-Myofascial Release?
Self-myofascial release (SMR) is a practice that incorporates the use of specialized myofascial release balls to target the trigger points on the body, promoting a sense of mobility, release, and restructuring of fascia or connective tissue.
See also What You Need to Know About Fascia
Fascia is one continuous connection of tissue that exists in the body from head to toe. It connects, protects, fills space, communicates, and interrelates to everything within the body. Fascia also has a tendency to get restricted or wound tight, and in some cases may even cause pain in the body. This can have many adverse effects. Mobility is the key to maintaining optimal health in our tissues. Whether or not you are pregnant, SMR improves range of motion and circulation, relieves pain, and encourages relaxation.
Self-Myofascial Release Practice for Pregnancy
The following practice is for women in any stage of their pregnancy who have been cleared for exercise by their doctor or medical practitioner.
You will need: A blanket, a block, a bolster, and two tennis balls or myofascial release balls. The support of a wall is always encouraged. Please remember to stay hydrated throughout the practice.
About Our Expert
Allie Geer is a prenatal certified yoga teacher based out of Boulder, Colorado, who is currently participating in Yoga Medicine's 500/1,000 hour advanced teacher certification. She specializes in myofascial release and holds workshops around the Boulder area. For more information please visit her website: www.alliegeeryoga.com