Even if you have a strong yoga practice (perhaps even, especially if you have a strong yoga practice), you will have areas of tension in the body that are related to the fascia. Fascia is a web of sorts, made of connective tissue that weaves in and out of muscles and eventually turns into the tendons and ligaments of your body. It is a huge network running from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head and is becoming a topic of research for topics as diverse as flexibility, stress management, nervous system communication, and even proprioception (sensing where your body is in space).
This tissue requires hydration and cannot easily move fluid in and out of the cells without movement in the surrounding muscles. When we spend a lot of time idle, not using our bodies regularly, areas can become brittle, dry, and “stuck”. We also can find areas of tension in muscles from poor muscle use in yoga practice, running, or other sports.
So whether you are constantly on the move or barely moving, helping to bring hydration to the connective tissue can help you reduce pain, improve flexibility, and decrease stress. Today, we’ll share a mini myofascial release series that you can do at home with a tennis ball or any similar round object.
Before we begin, a note of caution: Please do not use myofascial release on any areas that are actively inflamed, or areas that feel sharp or stabbing when you place pressure on them. If you have active inflammation or sharp, stabbing pains, see a doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Now, on to the mini practice:
Let’s focus on the low back and hips as that’s an area that causes a lot of problems for a lot of people. According to the National Institutes of Health,
About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days.