This is one of the newest releases in Jill Miller's Tension Tune-Down series,
a series of yoga-based self-massage programs available from Jill's new web
site, YogaTuneUp.com. There are 8 tracks on this CD, and in the first one,
Jill simple provides a general introduction to the series and using the balls.
The actual practice, which is less than 18 minutes long, starts with Track 2.
In this first segment, Jill has you simply lie on your back and become aware
of your breath. The ball work begins using both balls to work the posterior
supraspinatus. I found this segment to be fairly similar to the first track
in Jill's Upper Back & Neck CD, as the balls are placed in a similar location,
and Jill has you raise your pelvis to increase the intensity of the pressure
on the balls (she also suggests using an option block under the pelvis if
needed, which I found helpful). One difference here is that Jill adds what
she calls "phantom arms"--she has you move your arms as if someone else were
controlling them, moving them in whatever direction necessary to best target
your tight spots. The remaining positions use one ball only, working one side
of the body at a time. For Positions 2 & 3, the ball is placed directly under
the shoulder blade; phantom arms again are used. Positions 4 & 5 are
performed in a face-down position with the ball under the sternum. I found
the placement of the ball a bit harder to intuit from this position, perhaps
because this is an area of the body which is so rarely addressed in
stretching. The practice concludes with a brief rest (not a true savasana)
lying on the back.
I am a big fan of Jill's; I think she has a wonderful personality and a great
sense of humor (although the latter does not come through quite as well here
as on her DVDs). She has an amazing knowledge of anatomy and does a great job
of teaching this to others.
Beth C (aka toaster)