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Myofascia: our internal www

26th June 2015

Stretching Tiger

One of my current obsessions I am reading around and trying to hoover up any information I can on, is Fascia. This used to be considered as a sort of packing within our bodies. Cut through and pretty much discarded by surgeons in operating theatres to get to the all important organs as far as I can tell. It appears that recently, there has been a large mind shift and a deeper understanding (although still not complete) of this ‘body packing’- and it is fascinating! I read a lovely description in the book ‘The Endless Web’ referring to the continuousness of this connective tissue and highlighting how every little movement we make creates feedback for our whole organism – ‘Perhaps the best image of fluidity is a tiger on its way through the forest, not making a sound as it moves across leaves and twigs and past bushes. Its “knee bone is connected to its . . . arm bone” without restriction, allowing a spring-like action among all parts of its body’. If we don’t keep the human body supple, this myofascia becomes stiff and dry, creating restrictive bonds around the body, limiting our range of movement and certainly scuppering any spring-like action. Thank goodness for Yoga!

I called my web site ‘Make Space Yoga’ for all the reasons I identified on the front page, but now I’m wondering, when we ‘make space’ by our twisting and stretching, does this myofacial web move into the space we make, moulding our shape and holding the bones slightly apart and in their correct alignment, until gravity or stress, mental or physical disturbs again.

I have also been told by one of my students, a cranial osteopath, that as we move in to say Ardha Matsyendrasana (seated twist pose), the fibres of this wonderful substance disconnect and then reconnect in a slightly different way, shaping our bodies. In my mind I see this as sea annenome tenticles constantly undulating. I have started to hold this image in my mind as I practice and find it really concentrates my attention on the areas that are tight in my own body. I ‘see’ the fibres disconnecting and reforming as I breath slowly and allow my body to open further. In Downward Facing Dog as you roll the tops of your arms out to send the shoulder blades down your back, roll the thighs inward so the inner thighs lift, and then inhale to lengthen your spine, feel the movement within your body and imagine the waves of re-establishing and connecting fibres and energy that will ripple throughout your interior www. Obviously as yogis, we don’t need science to tell us about what we feel when doing yoga, but it is quite nice when these age-old practices collide with current day science.