21 Jan UNDERSTANDING YOUR FASCIA AND THE IMPORTANCE OF YIN
Written by Adrian Shortland
As a myofascial therapist specialising in chronic injury and lifestyle ailments, I see a lot of patients that suffer from decreased range of movement and restrictions in the body.
Does this sound like you? If so, a regular Yin Yoga practice could help you steer clear of these types of restrictions and even help prevent injuries.
Restrictions to the body are primarily due to the binding of tissues including muscles and fascia. Many people don’t realise they have these limitations until they experience a more chronic injury.
Similarly to Power Living’s Yin style of practice, my clinic is based on the fascial lines and principles. I’ve seen a lot of yin yoga in my years of practicing in the health and wellbeing industry and the Power Living approach is one of the most unique and self healing practices I have come across.
What really is fascia?
I get asked this question a lot. Fascia literally means band or bandage. It is a complex matrix structure that works all around the body on all levels; from muscles to nerves and organs to bones.
Think of it like a three dimensional web of connective tissue that supports and holds all of your internal body together. Picture this: Your body without bones could still stand upright with its fascia intact, however, your body without fascia would literally fall to a bag of bones.
What are the benefits of opening fascia?
Opening fascia helps to support and maintain normal function of muscular length. By opening and lengthening the fascia, it enables and increases range of motion around the joints because adhesions have gone.
It also reduces muscles soreness, as it stimulates better circulation to muscles and the connective tissue. Overall it increases blood flow, and encourages movement of your lymph which all contribute to improved performance and increased flexibility. Get more information about mysofascial release.
What is the role of Yin Yoga in all of this?
In Yin Yoga, especially in Power Living’s style of practice and training, the principals of Yin practice are based on the fascial lines as discovered by Thomas Myers. Similarly, it is the same principles that my clinic is based upon. The amount of success that I have found working through these lines of the body, is profound. When practiced in this way, Yin yoga can become a way to self treat and create the same or similar benefits to opening the fascia as described below. The long slow holds of each posture can create similar benefits that you might receive in a myofascial massage.
I recommend Power Living Yin Yoga and the way that they have designed their training. Power Living Yin Yoga is designed to work the body’s whole fascial lines, not just discrete areas. By practicing in this way the whole body receives benefit as opposed to only targeted area and consequently the whole body becomes posturally more aligned.
Adrian Shortland is the Founder of Bodyalignment and will be treating on the upcoming Byron Bay retreats: Victorious Heart and Being of Purpose. He also has a clinic in Byron Bay next time you’re up this way on holiday!