Fascia Yoga – an Effective Way to Increase overall Flexibility and Mobility
What is Fascia Yoga?
In Fascia Yoga we creatively align our legs, arms and joints in different directions and develop approaches to unwind our fascial web. Nothing damages the fascia more than lack of exercise, repetitive movements and prolonged sitting in the same position. Our connective tissue needs as many different stimuli as possible in various directions of movement in order to stay healthy. If that does not happen, the fascia will get sticky and less mobile – we feel stiff! In Fascia Yoga we play with different movement patterns, learn to find a stable posture, and worked with the different myofascial “trains” or linkages in the body. We also play with the principle of elastic rebound, which plays an important role in walking, running, jumping, bending and throwing. The tissues stay healthy, elastic and tear-resistant. So in a fascia yoga class we focus on improving flexibility and mobility as well as stretching. This type of yoga is perfect for office people, hypermobile people, stiff backs and athletes. Only when we feel what is good for our body or not, we can practice yoga in a more healthy way and become more body conscious.
What is Fascia?
From your big toe all the way to the top of your head, the body is embraced by “fascia” or connective tissue. Fascia research confirms the importance of the connective tissue in the proper functioning of muscles and wellbeing of our bodies. It is the connective tissue that gives the body its stability and shape. Its function is also to serve as a highway throughout the body of nerves, lymph and blood vessels to reach their destination.
Many factors in our daily life, including poor postural habits, dietary habits, stress-induced muscular tension, conditions limiting our movement and injury and dehydration, cause adhesions of fascia restricting their ability to perform their individual functions. While moving through yoga poses the connective tissue gets hydrated again. With the help of shaking, rocking and flowing motion, along with deep stretching, we will explore different fascial lines in the body and stimulate the muscles in depth. Through our own weight and contact with the floor we make the connective tissue soft and smooth. During a Fascia Yoga class we will use props such as a small ball or foam roller for self-massage.
What is myofascial self-massage?
The myofascial self-massage helps to remove toxins and metabolic waste products from the tissues. Very often props such as a foam roller or balls are used. Depending on how you use the props, adhesions can be broken down, water content in the connective tissue can be balanced, or the tissue can be strengthened and tightened. The basic idea of the myofascial self-massage comes from Rolfing and Myofascial Release (manual therapy) – through manual pressure the different layers of fascia are slowly streaked or “milked out” and tight connective tissue loosened up. Depending on how fast or slow you roll on the foam roller, collagen will build up or break down!
Contraindications or when to be careful doing myofascial self-massage:
• Acute injury, infection, inflammation and edema
• Varicose veins
• Anticoagulant medication (please reconfirm with your GP)
• Rheumatoid arthritis