Posts Tagged ‘Cornwall’

What is Myofascial Release

What is Myofascial Release and how is it linked to yoga?

If you’ve been practising yoga with me for a while, in-person or online, you’ll probably know about my love of incorporating myofascial release (MFR) into a yoga practice. But in case you haven’t, unsure what it is, or need some MFR inspiration, read on!

MFR is a way of self-massaging, using props – usually tennis/ lacross balls, rollers or block, to apply pressure to the myo-fascia, releasing stored tension to relieve pain and restore movement. Myo-fascia refers to both the muscle and the fascia that surrounds it. In fact, fascia covers our entire body and plays a huge part in our mobility.

How do MFR and yoga differ or work together?

  • In a dynamic or Vinyasa style yoga practice we mobilise the joints, whilst building strength and support around them, protecting us against injury.  We can improve our flexibility here but we mainly enhance strength and mobility, warming the muscles and fascia. This can keep us supple but does not release deep-set tension.
  • In slow Yin style yoga, we hold poses for longer, allowing the body to relax into the shapes. The tissues have the chance to re-lengthen over time here and release some of their deeper set tension. There is no strength involved and we have more opportunity to improve our flexibility.
  • Myofascial release works similarly to Yin yoga, in that we take our time and stay with the applied pressure for up to several minutes. This can often be in a Yin posture but not necessarily. Allowing the tissues to relax against the pressure can help specific areas of tension to dissolve, improving not only our flexibility, mobility and range of motion but also our blood circulation and eliminate pain.

As you can see, it’s pretty useful, if not essential, to be doing all three practices regularly!

2 MFR techniques for the shoulders and hips/ lower back.

Shoulders: lie on your back, with your feet on the floor, hips propped up with a block/ bolster. Place a ball either side of the spine at the base of the neck. Take slow breaths here for 1-2 minutes. Gradually roll the balls along the top of the shoulder blade towards the outer edge of the shoulder, pausing for a minute of two along the way – especially if you find a tender spot.

shoulders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hips/ glutes/ low back: lie on your back with knees bent and resting against one another. Place a ball either side of your sacrum and take slow breaths here for 1-2 minutes. You do not need to feel a lot. Gradually roll the balls along the tops of the glutes, again pausing along the way, until you reach the outer edges of the hips. Go back the same way, or return to a good spot.

 

 

*MFR can feel tender on pressure points but it should not be painful. If you do feel sharp pain or tingling, stop.

 

 

 

 

Join me this Sunday morning, 27th January, 9-11am, in St Agnes at the Wellbeing Studios for a creative combination of dynamic and strengthening Vinyasa Yoga, calm and restorative Yin, plus the releasing benefits of myofascial release. Please bring 2-3 tennis balls.

BOOK MY PLACE!

Beach reflection

Cornwall Rejuvenating Weekend Retreat

Thank you to all the yoginis who came on the Rejuvenating Weekend Yoga Retreat in Cornwall this weekend and made it such a special experience for myself and the group. Each time I bring together a group of strangers on a yoga retreat I am so overjoyed at the connection formed so quickly between one another!

Our retreat began with a Friday evening class to physically ease out travel tension and emotionally bring our minds in tune with our body. Then, we got to eat! I was thrilled to get Sam Lomas on board for this retreat, having already worked with him on Tiree this Summer. I think I can speak for everyone in saying that we were super impressed with Sam’s cooking – he made everything from granola and bread to curry, lentil salad, beetroot burgers, avocado chocolate mousse to apple and blackberry crumble. He even picked the beetroot and the blackberries! We will be hearing much more from Sam very soon, and I will be encouraging him to share some recipes!

Saturday morning I got everyone warming up their hips and shoulders ready for the day: after breakfast we all walked to the beach from where I took a group on a coastal path run to Crantock; in the afternoon we went back to the beach for a swim! Saturday evening I took the chance to lead a very relaxing restorative class to re-lengthen muscles and turn inward. Sunday began with a core focussed asana practise followed by an 8 mile walk/run to St Agnes and back, with the afternoon spent relaxing in the Retreat. Each class I taught took a different focus, both anatomically and spiritually.

This was the very first group to stay in the much eagerly awaited Retreat at Lime House and we were all hugely impressed! Check out the new interior images we have added to the website.

We will be running this retreat again in next year – see the site for dates and booking details.