THE YOGI ATHLETE: FASCIAL ELASTICITY & YIN YOGA
Fasical elasticity and sequencing in Yin Yoga, to prevent athletic injuries? You said what now?!
The practice of Yin can be an instrumental benefit to our fascial trains and fascial net. Yin Yoga is designed to deeply relax and renew the connective tissue of the human body.
But what is connective tissue… and what is fascial elasticity or the fascial net?
Fascia (as a whole) forms the biological container and is the fundamental connector for every organ; including muscles and connective tissues (plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, iliotibial band, thoracolumbar, etc). The fascial trains and net in particular, acts as a single connected unity in which the muscles and bones float, along with smaller connectors where the organs literally hang and co-mingle.
If we take it one step further, and include the neuro myofascial net, which also includes; the blood and blood cells, and other elements not part of the structural cellular “net.” Perhaps the closest term we could introduce all of these elements would be the extra-cellular matrix (ECM), which includes everything in your body that isn’t just cellular; including fibers (collegen weaves), collodial gels or the “glue” that holds and supoprts movement within the connective tissue and lastly water; which surrounds and permiates the cells.
And down the rabbit hole we go… lets bring it back to the benefits of Yin and prevention of injury.
Benefits of a Yin Yoga practice can be immense, especially for students who are also runners or athletes. For example, runners who train fascial fitness and employ fascical elasticity more often (quick whole body movments) will be using less muscle power during their runs, as they ultimatley store more energy in the stretch and then attain it back during the release. Thus, they will be able to run longer with less fatigue.
Therefore including sequenced postures that promote fascial elasticity and resetting the integrity of the trains, post run or training; most teachers and students alike will find these key areas significantly improved on and off the mat:
- restoring natural bio mechanics settings for posture and function
- prevention of asymmetries in the body, but addressing small indicators
- easing the long-term consequences from injury and preventing new ones
- extending functional movement for longevity
Herein lies, the “Yin” to that Yang, a great Yin practice can balance out the stress of training to prevent injuries and breakdowns. When we reset and maintain elasticity in our body, we move more freely.