The benefits of incorporating massage into your yoga practice are profound. Self-massage promotes circulation, stimulates your lymphatic system, and offers myofascial release. Fascia is the thin connective tissue that holds your organs, muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels together. Unhealthy fascia can lead to tight muscles and limited mobility.
Incorporating yoga with self-massage is a great way to warm up and loosen muscles. A natural pairing is Yin Yoga, a gentle paced practice that focuses on relieving stress and targeting deep connective tissue by holding restorative poses for 3-5 minutes. The practice is especially attractive to those with tension, injuries, or chronic pain.
The basic idea of using a tennis ball (or any other small firm ball), is to pin the ball between a hard surface and the targeted area on your body. It acts similarly to a foam roller, but with the ability to accurately pinpoint your tension.