We live a world were our structural language is centered around cause-and-effect. Western world requires us to understand systems by dividing them into their own unique parts, in order to define the contribution of each identifiable bit in relation to the whole. The concern with this line of thinking is that the human body is not assembled out of parts, it is a uniquely connected whole.
Yoga and fascial based philosophy works to embrace the very notation that when you change or impact the structural components of one line, you innately effect and structurally change them all. Thus, we are a sum of all parts – a web of connected myofascial mass.
Last week we looked at the role of fascial communication, a great tool towards linking mind and body, and over the last several weeks have looked at 4 out of the 12 fasical lines related to athletics and prevention of injury. In this article we continue to discuss the interconnected web of our fasical system with the Lateral Line.
For many linear athletes a common structural breakdown related to a lack of lateral stability, or a lack of rotational mobility, stem from a weak link in the lateral line.
Why? Simple – runners and cyclists are forward motion repetitive athletes and if not balance out with lateral mobility and rotational stability based movement patterns, common strain patterns can start to surface; such as knee pain, ITB pain, or pelvic deviations.
Your lateral line transverses each side of the body, starting at the neck, with then scalenes and sternocleidomastoid, then connects to the iliocostalis cervis, traverses in a woven pattern to your torso at the external and internal obliques, lateral ribs and intercostals, and deep QL’s. Following along the lateral line then connects fascially over your TFL, IT band and gluteus group; which further connects over the fibular head to your peroneals and then the fibular malleolus.
In movement the lateral line creates lateral flexion in the spine, abduction of the hip and eversion of the foot, as well as acts as an adjustable “brake” for lateral and rotational movements of the trunk. It also helps to balance out the left and right sides of the body.
The repetitive habitual movements seen in running and cycling, forms one’s posture, and the posture requires changes in the structure – the body’s fascial ‘fabric’. In other words, a gesture becomes a habit becomes a posture and eventually lodges in our structure. Thus compensations can occur and becomes a reality, like rounded back or forward head carry, but can be treated and fixed.
Adding in rotational mobility drills and side flexion and extension movement patterns can improve overall performance and establish balance in all the lines discussed previously.
In Yoga the lateral line can be strengthened by integrating these asanas:
- Half-moon pose
- Triangle pose
- Gate Pose
- Lateral Side & Extended Angle Pose
- Mountain Pose with Lateral Flexion
Soft Tissue Release to these areas can reduce tension to the lower mechanics:
- TFL (tensor fasciae latae)
- ITB (Illiotibal band)
- Gluteus Group
Sources: Thomas Myers – Anatomy Trains