How we roll

How we roll

Tight and toned are the buzzwords of the modern workout, as more people move away from the Schwarzenegger look towards longer, leaner muscles. Pilates and yoga can surely lead there, and now add to that a 6” inflatable ball for ultimate fitness. Welcome to Yamuna Body Rolling, a portable exercise program that tones, strengthens and realigns the body by quite literally rolling it out, section by section. Two Yamuna-certified instructors offer classes and workshops in Charlottesville. Recently I took a session with one of them, Rain Krause. Bottom line: After an hour I felt longer through my legs, hips, spine and shoulders, and my overall body awareness was enhanced. I even experienced a slight head rush as if oxygen, previously trapped in my tense neck muscles, had made its way to my brain. I went home with a ball of my own, excited to add Body Rolling to my cardio-Pilates routine.

Cynthia Clarke, one of two local Body Rolling instructors, demonstrates its lengthening and strengthening effects.

The technique involves slowing rolling out and decompressing muscles, following breathing cues and—for more advanced students—balancing. Example: The area around my left shoulder has been twingy for quite some time. Krause led me through a course that released the area around my ribs, trapezius muscles and deltoids as I moved incrementally along the floor on top of the ball. Intense sensations flooded my shoulders, back and chest, but in a warm sort of hurts-so-good way that reminded me of a good massage. When I finished, in the mirror, my left arm looked leaner and more relaxed—less pinned to my side compared to the other, as-yet-unrolled arm. And when I lifted it overhead, the only word that came to mind was “feathery.”

The effects come from moving built-up fluid in muscle tissue. Indeed, Krause says Body Rolling can even break up cellulite in the hips and thighs. Contact her at or 249-4296. Cynthia Clark, who introduced Body Rolling to Charlottesville at her Thinking Body studio, has three-hour workshops scheduled for July 19 and October 4. Contact her at 975-0336.

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