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Fascia Tissue: Tension, Release, and Yoga

February 17, 2017 by Gail Asbell

Increasing flexibility and mobility.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re on the mat. And we assume your fascia tissue isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Muscles, joints, poses, what to do after class, all these topics are probably higher on your list of things to think about, right?

If you’ve never thought too much about your fascia, it’s all the connective tissue that surrounds your muscles and your joints. It’s all connected throughout the body, so when one area is tight it can be reflected across a range of other areas. And unlike your muscles, fascia doesn’t just respond to movements and stretches. Movement in a yoga class will help to hydrate and free the more superficial layers of the fascia, but due to a range of lifestyle factors like sitting, poor posture, or stress related tension, the fascia can start to stick together restricting movement in the body. To increase flexibility, mobility, and limit pain and tension, we want to open up and free this fascia tissue. How?

Here are our three favourite ways to work on reducing fascia tension

Yin Yoga

One of the simplest and easiest ways to start to unlock fascia tissue is through the practice of yin yoga. Yin is a very slow and still style of yoga where poses are done, usually on the mat, with props for extended periods of time. Around three to five minutes per pose.

It consists of sustained stretches, where the body feels supported. In yin, you work to around 70% of your body’s ability, letting the long and low impact stretch work past the muscles and into the fascia tissue. This allows opening, unlocking, and mobility of the fascia and therefore the body. 

Self-Massage

Sometimes you need a little more targeted work when it comes to fascia tissue and problem areas. In addition to yoga, you can use a range of tools to help you release tight fascia tissue at home. While you can use foam rollers and tennis balls, we like to use Yoga Tune Up Balls as they are made to be the same density as your fascia tissue, which means they move with you and don’t harm your tissue. It’s a very safe way to unlock fascia yourself and you can get very specific with the areas that you target. You can feel the body releasing quite quickly.

Myofascial Release Therapy

When fascia tension is persistent or there are more serious conditions that arise, myofascial release therapy can be really beneficial. These practitioners work with patients when there has been reduced mobility or function after injuries, or consistent pain in the soft tissue. This is a fairly low impact therapy as small movements can have great impacts on the fascia tissue. It will usually consist of gentle pressure or sustained low load stretches to the problem areas.

 

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