Whether classical Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, or other styles: basically, every yoga practice does the connective tissue well. The importance of these so-called fasciae is undisputed – but what exactly is Fascia Yoga, and what does it do? What are the best yoga exercises for the fascia, and do you need a fascia role for this? You can find out all that here.
What is fascia training?
Fascia is the connective tissue made of 1-3 mm thick collagen and elastin fibers that run through the entire body. The threads connect and surround muscles, tendons, and nerves. Strictly speaking, there is only one fascia – you won’t find the beginning and the end in the fascia tissue.
If we make very one-sided movements over a long period and the tissue is only rarely stretched, the fascia will stick together and harden sooner or later. Then it is high time to loosen the connective tissue again with Fascia Yoga. This combines the parts of a classic fascia training. This consists of four components:
Maybe you are wondering now why it is so important to take care of the fascia regularly. Quite simply: for your well-being!
Why loosen stuck fascia?
There are many pain receptors in the fasciae, not least in the fascial tissue of the back. It can, therefore, happen that pain impulses emanate from these receptors.
Even chronic pain can result from fascial adhesions. This is because the more the tissue is stuck together, the easier it is for nerves or muscles to become trapped.
Fasciae become stuck together when the connective tissue is not being stressed. So is it enough to do sports in any way? Not necessarily, because even very sporty people can have stuck fascia. The reason for this is merely one-sided strain and too little stretching.
So it’s important: No matter whether you run a lot, do extreme sports or sit on the sofa at home – you should pay attention to your fascia!
And that doesn’t have to be complicated with regular fascia yoga.
How you can stretch your fascia with Yoga
Don’t worry; if you already have practice in Yoga, you don’t have to get used to it. In Fascia Yoga, exercises from Hatha Yoga or Yin Yoga are often practiced, with the big difference that the asanas are performed more intensively or held for up to 5 minutes. By staying in one position for a long time, the fasciae are addressed and stimulated in the first place.
Fascia yoga also means that you change some movements only minimally and feel them much more intensely. The focus is on actively breathing into the parts of the body that are under noticeable stress.
In the flowing movements with stretching effect, the used tissue fluid is replaced with fresh. The fasciae can thus regenerate better and become more supple so that the connective tissue becomes more dynamic and elastic in the long term. How convenient that you can start Yoga with fascia right at home without much effort!
Fascia Yoga: exercises for beginners
There is no patent recipe for how often and how long one should do fascia yoga. After all, it always depends on how flexible and active you already are. It is suitable for the fasciae if you concentrate on them once or twice a week during Yoga. You can choose between fascial exercises with or without a role.
Fascia exercises with roll
For Fascia Yoga, a role is, of course, not a mandatory requirement. However, with the fascia roll, you can intensify individual exercises and stimulate the fascia tissue. It may be a little uncomfortable at the beginning because the fasciae are still sticky.
When doing exercises with the fascia roll, always listen carefully to your body and make the workout less intensive if it becomes too painful. However, the more often you do fascia yoga, and the more flexible your connective tissue becomes, the less uncomfortable it will seem to you.
For the first fascia asana with roll, lie on your back and lift your pelvis so that you can place the roll under your lower back. The palms of your hands lie loosely on the floor next to your hips. Now pull slowly and control both knees towards the chest.
Once you have found a stable position, you can shift the weight slowly and centimeter by centimeter in different directions. A variation of this would be to stretch your arms above your head and put your feet’ soles together with your knees pointing outwards. Again, the lower back lies on the roll.
The second exercise begins in the dog looking up: lie on the belly and place the roll under the pelvis. Support yourself with your hands and stretch your arms so that your upper body is facing up, shoulders are pulled down, and the chest is wide open. Shift your weight again gradually in all directions and move as slowly as possible: It’s not about many repetitions, but about the noticeable depth effect!
Fascia Yoga exercises without roll
Single fascia exercises are right; a flowing movement sequence is even better! You can also do the exercises without a roll wonderfully directly one after the other:
From the hip-wide stand, roll down vertebra by vertebra. As soon as you bend all the way forward, let your arms and head hang loosely. Now start with a slight rocking movement, bringing your upper body a little bit further down when breathing out and springing back when breathing in.
Move your upper body slightly to the left and right. Do the springing 5-10 times. It is not about bouncing up and down as dynamically and intensively as possible, but about merely creating a noticeable stretch. It is best to do three rounds of this exercise and pause in between in the next asana:
Looking Down Dog (Variation)
From the forward bend, place your hands on the mat and walk forward until you are in the upper push-up position. Then push your buttocks up so that you arrive at the classic looking down dog.
Now alternately press one heel towards the floor and bend the other leg slightly. You should feel a stretch at the back of the stretched leg. When you think you have had enough, go back to the first exercise.
Once you have completed the alternation of the first and second exercise, it is time for the lateral stretch: From your next forward bend, crouch down and reach back with your hands so that you can sit down slowly. Tailor or lotus seat – you decide.
Place the right palm of your hand on the floor next to you, stretch your left arm upwards and pull it over your head to the right. Bend your right arm slightly. The aim is to feel a stretching effect on the left side of your body. You can always create a slight bounce again. Then switch to the other side.
As you can see, yoga exercises for the fasciae are not so different from Yoga, as you may already know and practice. But even as a beginner, you are in good hands with Fascia Yoga because one thing is sure: healthy connective tissue certainly cannot be damaged!