Why I Sleep with a Tennis Ball

By Lori Robbins

One of my students just revealed a deep dark secret.

Tennis balls are used in my weekly class to roll out and I encourage students to roll during the day. This student admitted that the beloved tennis ball has now migrated to her bed.

I would propose that this is actually a wise decision. Just listen to Gil Hedley, the founder of Integral Anatomy, give a speech about “Fuzz”. Fuzz is the growth of fibers that inhibit muscle movement. His “Fuzz Speech” is fun to listen to and you can access on Youtube.

Below is a partial transcript of Gil’s “Fuzz Speech”:

“…each night when you go to sleep, the interfaces between your muscles grow fuzz potentially and in the morning when you wake up and you stretch, the fuzz melts. We melt the fuzz. That stiff feeling you have is the solidifying of your tissues, the sliding surface aren’t sliding anymore, there is fuzz growing in-between them. You need to stretch. (but you don’t)author’s edit

Last night’s fuzz doesn’t get melted.  I go to bed. I sleep some more. Now I have two nights fuzz built up. Now two nights fuzz is more than one nights fuzz. Now what if I have a week’s fuzz or a month’s fuzz? Now those fuzz fibers start lining up and intertwining and intertwining and all of a sudden you have thicker fibers forming. You start to have an inhibition of the potential for movement there. It’s no longer simply a matter of going ooh ahh stretch. Now you need some work.”

So, I believe that one of the great benefits of body work whether it be massage or structural therapies or physical therapy or any kind of hands on therapy. These types of therapies introduce movement manually to tissues that have become fuzzed over through lack of movement …. you know that you can take responsibility for melting the fuzz and if there is too much fuzz in your body and it’s frozen up, you might want to seek help in order to introduce movement so that the new cycle is a little more movement and a little more movement and a little more movement instead of a little less movement and a little less movement and a little less movement.”

So sleeping creates Fuzz — Ball Rolling helps release Fuzz.

With our modern life style usually comes a modern lack of movement.  We over use some parts and barely use others. So start rolling in bed before you sleep and after you wake.

One body part that may have a lot of Fuzz is your feet.  The use of shoes since the time we are born has helped immobilized our feet and ankles.

Foot exercises and Ball rolling can help reduce foot fuzz like Plantar Fasciitis and hammer toes among other things.

If you want to learn more about massaging and exercising your feet to keep them healthy and Fuzz-less, please join me on January 28th from 1pm to 3:30 for my Healthy Feet workshop at Willow Glen Yoga.

Sign up at www.willowglenyoga or visit yogirelease.com for more information.

Can Yoga Kill You?

love yoga






I thought I was going to pass out, throw up, or die my first class at Willow Glen Yoga. It was 1998 and I’d had a baby the year before and could no longer run because pushing out a watermelon had realigned my pelvis.

I saw Willow Glen Yoga when I was getting my hair cut across the street, and I went and picked up a schedule. For my first visit, I chose a morning Bikram class taught by Kirk. As I signed in for the class, I met Kirk and Kent and they were sweet and funny. They showed me where to put my mat, told me to take breaks when I needed to. I nodded. I wasn’t the type of person who needed breaks. I’d be fine.

Thirty minutes later I was in child’s pose for the third time, making deals with the universe. If I didn’t throw up, I’d be nicer to my husband. If I didn’t pass out, I’d call my mom. I promised myself I would never come back.

The next day I only went into child’s pose twice.

The day after that I thought I was going to die again.

The day after that, I only got a little dizzy in eagle pose.

My body hummed in a way it hadn’t since I was a child. Yoga was some sort of miracle tonic: I was eating better. I was more patient. I could touch my toes!

Two weeks later after coming to class five days a week, I went up to Kent and nervously asked if he thought I was ready to take a vinyasa class.  He nodded. “You’re in the club, Kid,” he said.

I tried to control my smile so my face wouldn’t split in half. I was in the club!

For the next thirteen years, I went to Willow Glen Yoga at least three times a week, often more. I memorized the marks on the walls, the small holes in the ceiling before Kent ripped it out and made the room bigger. It was my church, my playground, my home plate. I made many of my most significant friendships at that studio.

I haven’t even mentioned the yoga. Nothing matches Willow Glen Yoga for the quality of the classes it offers, and I know this because I moved away.

I lived in Palo Alto for three years—I still live there, and I stopped going to a yoga studio regularly because the classes I attended in Palo Alto were more of the gym, sweat-it-out mentality, with none of the attention to alignment or emotional well-being so key to a solid yoga practice. I walked instead. And this is what happened: I got really sick. I went to the doctor and she told me, among other things, to eat more meat and to do some sort of vigorous exercise to counteract the stress in my life. “You mean like yoga?” I asked. She nodded. “Yoga’s the best.”

And guess what: my husband’s office changed location, and we are leaving Palo Alto as of this Friday, and we’re moving to…Willow Glen. I will live .7 miles from Willow Glen Yoga. My doctor thinks this is great news. My husband is excited to try out his new mat. I stay awake at night thinking of triangle, upward facing dog. What I think is: soon I will be practicing yoga regularly again; soon I am going to feel like myself. I am so grateful for Kent Bond and for all that he has brought to my life.

This is what I know:  Monday morning after we move I can do Yoga Flow with Tom. Or that night I could do Vinyassa at 6:00 with Kent. I could even stay on and do Yoga TuneUp at 7:30 with Nathania and sing all the way home. For heaven’s sake! Wednesday I could stop by at 2:00 and do an hour of Chair Yoga with Kyczy! Are you kidding me? Yoga in a chair? That is awesome.

I asked Kent if I could do a blog celebrating Willow Glen Yoga. I told him I wanted to give word space for the classes and the teachers and the students, and he said yes. So here I am, chronicling this coming year at Willow Glen Yoga. I look forward to practicing with you. I look forward to feeling better.

– Anne


It’s All Practice

Just breathe
The yoga practice is a practice of immersion. In cultivating a focused calm state of serenity we tap into balance or unity with our being. When in the realm of immersion we are not troubled by fear, anxiety,desire or anger.

We attempt to foster this state in whatever we do. Cleaning house, doing the yard or walking the dog.

Attempting calm focus in any activity beckons immersion and the Yogic state.

As Swami Satchidananda told a student who complained about not having time to practice because of his active child and home life, “Its all practice!”

Meet Our New Teacher


Can you believe who we just hired?
(In case you missed this funny video)

Take What You Need


take what you need

Sometimes we come to the studio needing a little comfort, needing some space and time to rebalance and reconnect with our selves.  If that is what today is like for you, know that WGY can be a source of soothing contemplation as well as a space to move, stretch and sweat.  Get into your body TODAY and find out more about how you are feeling.  And while you are here; practice what you need: love, hope, faith, patience, courage, understanding, peace, passion, healing, strength, beauty and freedom.