RIDGWAY – An upcoming Yamuna Body Rolling workshop series at Ridgway Integrative Movement Center promises participants a full body experience – from their feet to their necks. The practice utilizes balls ranging in size from six to 10 inches to release body parts, resulting in multiple health benefits.
Founded by fitness and health professional Yamuna Zake, Yamuna Body Rolling allows an individual to work specific muscle groups by rolling a ball from the buttocks to the calf, the tailbone to the skull, the abdomen to the collarbone, the collarbone to the shoulder joint, and so on. The technique works wherever you have a muscle connecting from one place to the next, resulting in improved posture and range of motion and alignment, as well as increased muscle tone, flexibility and organ function. It “reeducates muscles and stimulates bone, creating positive, permanent changes in the body,” according to yamunabodyrolling.com.
“This work is so profound,” says Kristi Wright, owner of Lousiana-based Fit Wright, who is co-teaching the class along with fellow certified Yamuna Body Rolling instructor Janet Niichel of Los Angeles. “It’s an easy thing to learn. It’s a self-care practice. Literally, people get results from the moment they start.”
Wright, a certified Pilates instructor with a master’s in sports science and fitness management, happens to be the cousin of Darin Fletcher, owner of Ridgway’s Integrative Movement Center, located in the Old Schoolhouse Building on Sherman St. Coincidentally, she and Niichel, who randomly met each other next door at Ridgway Natural Foods, are both spending their summers in Ridgway. (Niichel is a five-year summer resident of Hastings Mesa.)
“This workshop is so amazing to have both of us together,” says Wright, adding that they hope to bring practitioners to Ridgway to keep the practice there after they leave. Currently there are only five certified Yamuna Body Rolling instructors in Colorado, she adds. “Yamuna is international, but it’s only in small pockets so far,” Wright says, but she predicts it will take off in the next two-to-three years, much like Pilates did. “It’s truly an amazing system. And, she says, “this model complements every other model out there,” such as yoga, Pilates and the Bar Method. “And it’s been in development [by Zake] for over 30 years.”
Niichel, a neuromuscular therapist and certified gyrotonic instructor (among other bodywork certifications), began Body Rolling herself 15 years ago and applying it to her practice.
“Neuromuscular therapy is kind of a branch of massage. It’s a precise method of using your hands to release and stimulate muscle and help the bones do the right thing,” she said.
The Yamuna Body Rolling method is a version of that method, but using balls instead of hands. “It’s really experiential,” she says. “Once you experience it, that’s when people are sold on it.
“Basically, my whole philosophy of life is to help people get back to what they want to be doing at the level they want to be doing it,” Niichel says. “I love to see people getting back to what” they love, whether it’s mountain biking, running or just enjoying nature.
Through word of mouth, Wright and Niichel have obtained about 15 new Yamuna Body Rolling clients already this summer, says Wright. “We’re trying to market it in Telluride, Ouray and Montrose; trying to help people have exposure to this so that self care” can become more accessible, she says.
“People here are so active,” she says, that it’s an easy fit.
The workshop is offered in two sessions of five classes at IMC: Wednesdays, July 20-Aug. 17, 6-8 p.m.; or Saturdays, July 23-Aug. 20, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Participants can either take individual sessions for $60 or commit to three or more sessions for $50 per class. The first class will focus on the whole body, to give those new to Body Rolling a sense of what is involved.
“People will see immediate results from the very first training,” promises Wright.
The subsequent four sessions will focus on specific body parts: foot, ankle, knee; neck, shoulder, arm; back, hips, legs; and thoracic, spine, core.
With a few adjustments, Body Rolling is recommended for pregnant women, who will find benefit from aligning, toning and lengthening of the torso, allowing more space to accommodate the baby as it grows.
“Women have had better pregnancies because of this method,” says Wright.
Balls will be provided to all workshop attendees, who will then have the option of purchasing their own set, to continue their practice at home.
For more information and to sign up for a workshop, contact Kristi Wright at 985/789-7791, or log on to imcridgway.com.