When we consider asana (postures), we often think first about creating flexibility in the muscles. But yoga also positively impacts connective tissue. Think about when you peel an orange and there’s all that spongy, stringy white stuff between the peel and the fruit. Yes, that’s what our bodies’ network of ligaments and tendons a.k.a. fascia can be compared to––or maybe even a spider web–– supporting our bones, joints, organs, muscles and nerve fibers.
If you neglect tending to your fascia, your mobility can become severely limited. We have millions of nerve endings in our connective tissue so injuries can stop you in your tracks. Myofascial lines include the superficial back line (SBL), the superficial front line (SFL), the lateral or side body, the Spiral line (SL), which loops around the body, and the Arm lines (AL) which include the shoulders and arms. It’s important to address your entire body to stay aligned and balanced.
Improper posture, sitting too much, and simply growing older can result in tightness, pain, and serious complications. In fact, many soft tissue injuries occur in the fascia as opposed to the muscles. To prevent injuries, it’s vital to maintain and even increase healthy connective tissue. Yoga can complement Myofascial Release therapy by helping keep your fascia healthy.
Yoga helps but when you need more intensive treatment, it’s time to try Myofascial Release therapy. This therapeutic modality refers to the technique of applying gentle pressure on ‘trigger points’ to release tension in the fascia. Foam rollers and balls are effective tools to prevent and soothe pain.
So what type of yoga helps the most? All kinds! A Vinyasa flow class will help keep all your myofascial lines supported. Yin yoga, with its long holds and soothing pace will also help calm your nervous system and encourages you to relax. Poses like Downward Dog emphasize the posterior (SBL.) Standing, sitting, and supine twists are great for the spiral lines (SL.) Backbends like Bridge pose and Wheel open up your front body (SL) and Half-pigeon is great for your lateral (side) body.
This week, we’ve got four classes to get you started on your journey to go deeper than the surface and address your connective tissue!
Myofascial Release: Pelvis to Outer Hip - Geenie Celento
Quick and Easy Yoga for a Busy You - Elise Fabricant
Strengthen, Protect & Heal the Lower Back - Desiree Rumbaugh
Yoga Therapeutics for Shoulders & Upper Back - Deb Rubin
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