If you’ve ever had pain in the lower back, hip, or glutes you know just how debilitating it can be. Anatomically this area is referred to as the lumbo-pelvic-hip-complex, or LPHC. I often joke it’s called that because pinpointing the cause of the pain around there is so complex. Personally, my go-to for any issues in the LPHC is a somatic yoga tennis ball glute release. 9/10 this is what helps my pain, and that’s what I want to share in case it helps you.
If you’ve ever done self myofascial release for the glutes or piriformis you’ll no doubt have seen people sitting on a lacrosse ball with their faces writing in agony. Stop the madness. Instead try something different. Rather than forcing and stimulating the sympathetic nervous system response, try the somatic yoga way. This will help activate the parasympathetic nervous system to allow the tension to ease away.
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Somatic yoga tennis ball glute release
Before starting any somatic work it’s important to take a baseline body scan. Ideally, for this tennis ball glute release, the scan should be done laying on your back in savasana. Corpse pose is a great way to assess the relationship of your pelvis to the floor, and the tonicity of the glute muscles. Notice:
- Does one side of the pelvis feel lifted?
- Do you have more connection of one glute to the floor?
- Is one glute more contracted?
- Where do the lower back & hamstrings connect to the floor?
- Does one foot feel more turned out?
Notice all of those things, then bend the knees, place your feet on the floor and grab your tennis ball. Lift the one side of the pelvis and place the ball under glute. Right in the cheek of the butt. Placement is important here. Stay away from the bony area in the middle of the pelvis, and stay in the soft squishy muscular belly of the glute.
Set the weight of the pelvis on the ball. Notice how it feels. Then allow the leg with the ball under it to slowly open out to the side, and back up. Do this slowly, noticing any tension. Reposition the ball if needed.
Repeat this action for as long as you need. Maybe 60-90s. Finally, take the leg to the side and hold. For a more relaxing variation support the leg on a yoga block or bolster.
Hold for another 30-60s, draw the leg back in and remove the ball. Lengthen the legs out again into corpse pose and rescan your body. Can you feel differences right to left? Before and after? So that you don’t feel out of sorts grab the tennis ball and repeat everything on the opposite side. Then, one final time, rescan.
Want more somatic yoga?
If you’re looking for more somatic releases with a tennis ball, then check out my posts for the hamstrings, calves, wrists/forearms and feet. If you want more, then consider joining my Patreon. Each month I release two yoga classes exclusively for my Patreon community. Other ways to find more yoga with me are signing up for my 7-day yoga challenge, or subscribing to my YouTube channel.
- Are you experiencing lower back or hip pain?
- Do you have tight glutes or piriformis?
- Have you tried the “traditional” glute release?