Let's Feel Better Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 3

Feel Better from Feet Up

10 min - Practice
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Shelley shares a simple, accessible practice she looks forward to doing every day to loosen the muscles, dust off the joints, and feel good in her body. We start with therapy balls at the feet, use a foam roller to roll out the back, glutes, quads, and IT bands, and finish in a couple Sun Salutes. You will feel warm, supple, and ready for your day.
What You'll Need: Therapy Ball, Mat, Foam Roller

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Transcript

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Greetings, friends. Welcome to our Let's Feel Better practice. I'm so excited to share with you my tried and true method that I use for myself, my friends, my clients every day. It does involve some props. If you have a 6-inch in diameter foam roll at home, it can be a short one or a long one like mine.

And these are simply therapy balls. You can literally take two tennis balls, put them in a sock, and tie a rubber band at the end or duct tape them. Or you can go online and order some therapy balls if you don't have them. But we'll start with simply rolling our feet, the soles of the feet. And if you've ever had acupuncture or acupressure, you know that our feet are just a hotbed of acupressure points that affect the entire body.

And in traditional Chinese medicine, it is said that we age from the feet up. And so when we roll the fascia and all of these pressure points on the soles of the feet, it has a direct effect on the whole body, but particularly the posterior line of the body. And so our fascia is this amazing system that underneath your skin is this. If you can picture a cream-colored saran wrap, for lack of a better term, that kind of wraps everything up. It goes around the muscles, through the muscles, holds everything together in your body.

And that's where our energetic lines tend to flow. So when we do self-massage with the help of a foam roll or tennis balls, therapy balls, it helps the glide of our fascia with our skin, with our muscles, with the joints. And it just makes your whole body feel better. So I'm just staying on one foot here and giving a good amount of pressure as I roll the inner arch, the outer arch, and kind of put my foot on the bridge of these two therapy balls. You can stand on them if you can tolerate that or roll across the knuckles.

It's totally possible to do this with just one tennis ball as well. And then we'll change sides. And just take the other side and roll right across your foot, almost like you're trying if you had gum on your foot and you're trying to roll it off. That's the amount of pressure that you want to give your foot. It's really important to breathe and work consciously with this as you're practicing through it.

Take some nice deep breaths in and out. Turn your attention to how you feel and to the sensation that you feel in the soles of your feet as you roll. Notice that there are several lines through the feet. If you picture a line coming from each toe towards your heel, you can roll those lines. And then perhaps stand on the therapy balls.

Give it a little pressure there. The back of the arch, the center of the arch, and then right at the knuckles, the metatarsals. Sometimes I even like to spread and stretch the toes. So from there, that's where I always start. I can set that to one side.

And we'll utilize this foam roll. So you set it behind you, horizontal to the length of your mat. Have a seat in front of it. And then just lean back, recline your mid-back right onto the foam roll. Support your head with your hands.

Lift the hips up. And just start to glide your upper back here. And you can allow your head to rest into the cradle of your hands. But do try to keep your spine parallel to the floor. And we're just using our own body weight against the foam roll to glide our fascia, our muscles.

You might even hear a couple little cracks and self-adjustments in the spine. And it feels really nice. What I love about this particular, these techniques, is that pretty much everyone can do this. It's very accessible. And you immediately start to feel like, oh, I haven't had a massage in a while.

And this feels amazing. So we're going to pause here, bring the tailbone down. Move the foam roll so that it's right at the bottom tip of your shoulder blades. Lace your fingers behind your head. And then recline back into a supported back bend.

And we'll just take a few movements here. It's kind of like cat-cow, but over the fulcrum of the foam roll, take a deep inhale. As you exhale, draw the navel in, chin to chest. We do a little coil and curl up, round the spine, tailbone under. So we come into the opposite direction.

And then inhale, open up, arcing back over the foam roll. This is great for posture. Exhale, draw the chin in, draw the navel in, and round. And just take a few rounds here. We're kind of just doing a dusting off, a brushing off of the surface of all the large joints and also kind of fascial planes in the body.

So from here, we'll come up. Have a seat on top of your foam roll. Lean your hands back. And let's cross left ankle over right knee. I like to bring my opposite hand across.

Lean into my left glute, my left cheek, and just give it a little roll right across the glute fibers. This feels amazing. The external rotators often get really tight in the hips. And so just, again, this body weight onto the roll feels really good. Adding some breath here.

And then we'll take it over to the other side, shifting your hips, opposite ankle on the knee, leaning into your opposite hand, and rolling diagonally across your glute, relaxing your forehead, relaxing your jaw, deepening the breath. From here, we'll go ahead and come onto our hands and knees. Take the foam roll in front of you. We could spend easily an hour on this thing, but this is just a quick little practice. We'll start on our quadriceps now.

So bring your forearms to your mat. And start with the foam roll kind of low, right above the knees. And we'll rock back and forward a few times, just rolling right down the center of the quads. Be conscious of your spine. Try not to kind of leak energy out of the front of the core, but stay a little lifted.

And just roll gently right down the center of your thighs, relaxing the muscles as best you can, breathing. One more like this. You can even bend your knees, drawing the quadriceps to length. And then from here, we'll come into everybody's favorite, the IT band. So you come onto the side of your hip.

I like to start kind of below the hip. Legs can stack. This is going to give you a little more weight. Or you can bend your top knee and bring your foot forward. And you use your hand and your foot to lift a little bit of weight off the foam roll as you glide down the iliotibial band.

Just a couple passes here, really generous. This one can sting a little bit. We get a lot of sensation in our IT band. Oftentimes, rolling the IT bands can help with the tracking of your patella, with the health of your knee, and also with relieving low back tension. Let's come through the center.

Take a few more passes on the quads. And then we'll shift over to opposite IT band. Once again, your choice. You can have your top foot forward for a little support or stack your legs and roll. I try to do this little series at least once a day.

And it keeps me feeling really supple and good, actually. I look forward to it. So then come up onto your shins. And we'll roll the anterior tibialis, kind of the lateral line of your shin bone. So you can stay right on top of it.

Or sometimes I like to cross one ankle over the other and lean into it a bit, giving a little more weight to one shin. Followed by the other. If you happen to be a runner and you get shin splints, this one has your name on it. So from here, we'll press back into a downward dog. And just notice how your body feels.

I already feel better. Hang out here. If you have a little more time, it's nice to include a few sun salutes after you've rolled on your foam roll and your tennis ball. So let's do two together. And then we'll close this practice.

Inhale to circle the arms out and up. Exhale, swan dive forward, fold. Inhale to lift your heart. Step back as you exhale. Lower halfway or all the way.

Inhale to open your chest. Notice your mobility. Exhale to down dog. Let's keep it moving. Walk your feet to your hands.

Lift the heart. Exhale, fold. Inhale to rise. Pause at the top. Let's go right back into one more cycle.

Exhale, forward fold. Inhale, lift halfway. Exhale, step back to plank. Lower all the way down. Come to a cobra this time.

Inhale. Exhale, back to downward facing dog. Let's take a breath here. Exhale. Walking or hopping your feet to the top of the mat.

Lift the heart halfway. Exhale, let it go. Inhale to rise. Exhale, hands to your heart. Notice how you feel.

The beat of your heart, your breath, your energy. Body feels a little warmer. I feel better. I hope you feel better too. Thank you so much for joining me today.

I'll see you soon. Namaste.

Comments

Ted J
2 people like this.
Thank you!
Jenny S
3 people like this.
Wow! This felt amazing! 💥
Pia A
2 people like this.
Good practise. I will do it every da.  Thanks👌🙏
Kate M
1 person likes this.
What a sweet little healing. invigorating practice! Thank you, Shelley!!
Shelley Williams
Ted J You are so very welcome Ted!
Shelley Williams
Jenny S Its my go to almost every morning! 
Shelley Williams
Pia A Thank you Pisa, you can definitely engage in this practice every day! So good for the body :)
Shelley Williams
Kate M You are so welcome Kate! It is short and sweet, but give you a lot of miles :)
Sandra Židan
Thanks, Shelley, for this beautiful and energizing practice! I loved doing it! Namaste! ❤️🌹🌷☀️
Shelley Williams
Sandra Židan You are so very welcome! A little of this stuff goes a LONG way! Glad you found it helpful :). 
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