Updated: Apr 3
What's new? Our understanding of the vital role fascia plays in human health and function, even beyond making improvements to musculoskeletal disorders, like positive psychological changes of autoimmune disorders, digestive functions, and more. One of the world-class educators on fascia, David Lesondak, who helps people resolve chronic pain, improve physical performance (especially post-injury), tells us that Fascia is Gold. It gives hope of making better decisions to improve health, often without pharmaceuticals or surgeries.
Dr. Angeli Mun Akey, a Western Medical Doctor and board certified in Internal Medicine, Integrative and Holistic Medicine Doctor, as well as a Functional Medicine Doctor, always comes back to the line from Amazing Grace, "I was blind, but now I see". After 30 years of "seeing" pain syndromes in the emergency room, the hospital, in nursing homes, internal medicine and in primary care...she now understands these issues likely had a fascial component!
"I did not know what I did not know. Now I do. Every patient I see, I now see differently."
This is why we are Fascinated with Fascia at Willow Glen Yoga.
To understand movement, we have to understand fascia — the only tissue that modifies its consistency when under stress. Researches point out that the fascia web that exists throughout the body has the potential to influence everything. At the University of Ulm, they learned recently that fascia can react independently to messengers that are associated with stress. This leads us to believe that the contraction of fascia during stress may also be one reason why musculoskeletal pain occurs when you are unhappy or under a lot of stress. The number of different sensors and nerve endings in the fascia around the muscle far exceeds the number in the muscle itself. A doctor of human biology and one of the leading fascia researchers worldwide, Dr. Robert Schleip tells us that fascia, a sensory organ in its own right, is a prolific internal information system — a network that is essential for brain functioning.
"The brain is receiving continuous stimuli from fascia."
Fascia is our self-perception, our inner awareness and it is now viewed as part of the brain and the nervous system which controls movement. Muscular energy is channeled through fascia and allows us to wake up and engage all the small muscles surrounding our major muscles. This means you use less energy when you move and move with more ease and fluidity. It's the difference between muscle tone and strength. With muscle tone the whole group of muscles work together. In other words, you become more graceful. When your fascia is stiff from not moving or from injuries the lymphatic fluid decreases. You can slowly increase hydration through focused attention and tracking sensations of moving such as push, reach, pull and yield.
Come to our Fascia Fitness Flow class every Sunday morning at 9:00 AM to activate your fascia and your mind by playing with relaxation and activation at the same time!
Mary Ellen Hannon is also teaching on the meditation app Insight Timer! go to instighttimer.com for her scheduled live online classes.
Join us and together let's take meditation master, scholar and artist Chogyam Trungpa's advice to get beyond words such as "good" and "bad" and "beyond conceptualized ideas...just get into what you are, deeper and deeper." How do you do this?
When you track sensation and breath and move there is no space to think about it...rather you feel your way into and through a mindful way of moving through life.
You will feel a sense of well-being after class!
Author, Mary Ellen Hannon, BA Health Science, has an Advanced Certification in Somatic Movement: Movingness, and is actively studying with other cutting edge Interdisciplinary Movement Teachers.
Yogacharya Kent Bond, MA, has been teaching yoga and conducting Yoga Teacher Trainings for 25 plus years. He brings ancient yoga wisdom to our Fascia Fitness Flow Classes.
What some of the students have said about these classes:
"Thank you for another great class. Your class delivers a stealth super workout. For someone like me who tends to be physically focused, I do feel challenged in terms of really listening to the subtler somatic messages from my body. Even so, I've noticed in my walks that I feel more solid, stable...thank you many times over! I love what I am learning in my own body and guiding." Hanna from Santa Cruz, CA (takes the intermediate somatic class on Sundays)
"The Fascia Fitness Flow...was a good experience for me. I'm in a mode of trying and learning new things, so I appreciated that. Generally, I liked it and would do more again. And I would love to learn more about it." Scott from San Jose, CA (Took our Fascia Fitness Flows© class on Saturdays)
"I had a kink in my neck before class and it's all gone! I am so relaxed. Thank you." (Took intermediate Somatic class last Sunday)
Ann from San Jose, CA
"Mary Ellen's class makes me feel so good. It leaves me feeling so calm & refreshed, like getting a massage — on the inside!" Sue from Alameda, CA (takes Beginner's Somatic Class on Wednesdays)