I have a confession. I hate yoga.
Let me back up here. Hate is a strong word. I hate people who hurt animals/people, movies that make me afraid to go to sleep, and kumquats. I don’t really enjoy yoga. Now, there are so many variations of yoga that it’s hard to keep track of. Ashtanga, Hatha, Yin, Power, Bikram, the list goes on and on. I’ve tried a lot of them, certainly haven’t tried all of them though.
Thing is, I find yoga to be incredibly boring! As a bodyworker, I need to do it for the mobility and flexibility to keep my own body moving, but I’ve tried. I’ve taken so many classes from so many different teachers. I’ve done it at home, I’ve done it at the gym, I’ve done it at a yoga studio, but I just don’t love it. I find myself glancing at the clock wondering “is this over yet?? This is the longest 60 minutes of my life!”. I go through sun salutation A several times, growing increasingly bored. It’s horrible! I have friends that are yoga teachers and I love them dearly, but just like massage isn’t for everyone, yoga isn’t for everyone.
Aren’t you a yoga teacher though, Rebecca?
Yes and no. I did not do my 200 hour yoga teacher training. I don’t have 20 years of yoga experience under my belt. However, when I first heard about Jill Miller and her Yoga Tune Up® mix, I was intrigued. She was doing a podcast with my friends Adam and Vanessa Lambert over at Bee The Wellness talking about her history as a yoga teacher and what led her to develop her own process and then she started talking about her therapy balls. I had been dealing with a hip issue that was the result of a sprained ankle months before and nothing was helping long term. Massage, chiropractic, yoga….I had this constant dull ache in my hip/glute. My breaking point was when I was driving down I-75 to visit a friend in Kentucky and I had a lacrosse ball wedged under my hip to try and alleviate the discomfort.
Anyway, Jill was talking about her Roll Model® therapy balls and I knew I had to try them. After about a week and a half of rolling out with the Alpha ball every couple of days for 5 minutes, the pain was 90% gone. That was a year and a half ago and I knew this was something different, so doing what I do, I set out to learn as much as I could about this not so new but new to this area modality and treatment.
Roll, roll, roll your bod
In November 2016 I traveled to San Francisco, CA so I could do the training to become a Certified Roll Model Method Practitioner. In those 2 days we talked about the benefits of the therapy balls and worked over our bodies with roll sequences and techniques designed to alleviate pain, improve posture, and give our bodies the self-massage and myofascial release that traditional therapy tools (lacrosse balls, tennis balls, foam rollers, etc) may not effectively be doing.
In the back of my mind I had already been thinking about the 70 hour Yoga Tune Up® teacher training, but after I did the RMM course I thought that would suffice. I still didn’t have anywhere to teach though as I was still in my old office in Royal Oak, Michigan. But I knew it was one of those “one day I’ll do it” situations.
Now during this time I had connected on Instagram with a YTU teacher named Alexandra Ellis and I was loving all of her content and material that she was constantly sharing. And then the idea of YTU training came back into my head. When I saw that there was a training in June 2017 in Poulsbo, Washington, I decided to pull the plug and do it. And I am SO glad that I did!
First off, Poulsbo, Washington is a beautiful place. Half the time I didn’t even feel like I was in the states, it felt like Alaska (now I know that Alaska is one of the 50 states, but you know what I mean, right?). Second, the training was amazing, and life changing. After 7 days of daily practice, the shoulder problem that had been plaguing me for nearly a year, while not 100% gone, was about 85% better than it had been. My range of motion had improved, my external rotation was better than it had been in ages, and I was feeling muscles that I hadn’t felt before. For the first time since I could remember, my glutes were activating! My posture was better, and most importantly, I had found a yoga class that I actually enjoyed.
So, what’s the difference between yoga and Yoga Tune Up®?
Yoga Tune Up® (or YTU) is a fitness therapy format built around the 3 P’s: pain, posture and performance. This combination of yoga, corrective exercise and therapy works to eradicate pain, improve posture and enhance performance. Say goodbye to your sun salutations, long holding poses of downward dogs and hello to shoulder mobilizing techniques such as boomerang, happy baby mini vinis and propeller arms!
While I am still very new in my teaching journey and I have a lot to learn, and I don’t have any kind of history with teaching like a lot of other YTU teachers do (come on, I’ve been massaging people for 13+ years, what do I know about leading people in a class setting?!) so far I am absolutely loving this new chapter in my professional life. I am so excited about everything that I’ve got on the books; weekly mobility classes including Yoga Tune Up®, LifeStretch and a Roll & Relax class-an all therapy ball class, as well as monthly workshops to target specific areas such as the shoulders and hips. Check out our ongoing schedule as well as special deals on our Facebook page and I hope to see you in class soon to tune in and tune up!
In good hands,
Rebecca Tamm, LMT