Fascia. You may have heard of it. It’s talked about by physical therapists, massage therapists, wellness blogs, and body care products, to name a few. We’re told that it’s another major part of the body that plays a big role in our health and well-being. As “a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place“, it sounds pretty important!
I first became aware of it about 7 years ago when a fad swept my team at my very corporate office: a few 30-something colleagues had purchased a specialized massage stick and were religiously massaging their body every evening to the point of bruising. Suffice it to say, this didn’t last very long.
Fast forward to this fall when our local yoga studio, Aditi, lists a new class: Yoga + MFR (Myofascial Release), taught by Heather Hested. I’m intrigued and pop in for a session. The class starts out slowly. Bit by bit, we draw attention to various muscle groups by tenderly, and sometimes not so tenderly, moving tennis balls around our bodies while holding simple yoga positions. I find myself naturally closing my eyes and reeeally feeling the sensations. This process massages the connective tissue and releases fascial constriction. Before I know it, the class is over. I declare to the teacher that “my muscles feel fluffy”, and I question whether or not I just had a professional massage.
If this sounds interesting to you, I recommend a visit. No need to bring anything. Yoga mats, blocks, and tennis balls are provided. There’s even a virtual option for those who can’t make it into the studio. Heather will welcome you with a passionate explanation of the process and science behind it to get you up to speed in no time!