Foam Rolling in the Deep Relaxation:
What does it take to get off on the “right foot” every morning? Have you ever thought about how important it is to begin the beginning of your day on a positive note? One miscalculated cacophonous tone and the melody of your day is going to sound distorted! A distorted day will lead to a much higher probability of something unfortunate happening; it is so important to go into the pattern of the day with a balanced mind, heart of gratitude, and unknotted body.
Many religions and spiritualities start the day off with some form of morning prayer for a reason; the body and mind are usually in a state of chaotic flux after coming out of the dreamscape—it is paramount to ground and recalibrate oneself back into a familiarized stasis. A Taoist Sensei of mine very accurately defines Karma as “cause and effect” or in his own words, “f**k around and find out!”
Start the day off right—you’ll have might; start the day off wrong—you’ll sing a sad song!
I am by no means a morning person. I realize just how necessary it is to not allow the ego to grab the reins when I wake up. I’m usually rather groggy and grouchy as the Sun comes up; this is why my daily morning practice of doing at least one virtuous thing for my mind, Spirit, and body is so crucial for the way that the rest of my day flows. A good day cycles into a good week which cycles into a good month which cycles into a good year—and so forth. A bad day has all the potential to break a person; let us not allow that to happen!
Buddhists and Taoists believe that our dream-world is our “real reality” and that our “real reality” is the actual dream—trippy, right? First thing that I do in the morning as I’m waking-up into this “reality” is get into my meditation mode; I take ten deep controlled breaths—in and out of my nostrils—while keeping my eyes still shut—this allows my mind to ease itself gently into my waking reality. A quiet and balanced mind = good decisions being made by you throughout the day!
While meditating I make sure to visualize ten things that I am grateful for—this is so important for the heart and Spirit—setting-up the way that the proverbial dominoes fall for me for the rest of the day; this is almost like creating one’s own luck (an article which I will write for you at a future time). I literally get out of my bed on my right foot and take another few breaths before I fully stand-up. I then start my quick A.M. stretching routine, which takes me only 10-12 minutes. Towards the end of my stretches, I grab my good old friend the foam roller. Folks, these foam rollers are only a few bucks but so worth it!
When properly utilized, foam rollers relieve inflammation, undo annoying muscular knots, increase your range of motion and flexibility, and even boost your circulation and lymphatic flow! Foam rolling, also referred to as SMR (self-myofascial release), is a favorite tool of any trainer. Though simple with its mechanics, SMR can be risky if done incorrectly; this is why I always advise asking a certified trainer to show you the ropes with any new equipment.
When “rolling” it is important not to do so for too long, don’t roll over your lower back and joints, never push into any pain, don’t hold your breath, avoid the neck, and females should avoid the chest area. You just feel RIGHT after a nice proper foam roll! When you feel RIGHT, you start the day off on that RIGHT foot! Get yourself on that good roll! Carpe Diem, my friends!
Banner Image: Foam rolling with a partner. Image Credit – Anna Shvets