I spent this week musing on connective tissue. The ubiquitous fibers within our body that both transcend and connect all of our otherwise separately defined systems.
There are different types of connective tissue, some approaching the hardness and durability of bone, and others so fine and enmeshed that they resemble the inner membrane of a grapefruit. They serve different purposes in the body, but what they all have in common is that they link different systems ( such as muscles, ligaments and bones) together, and hold many of the postural and movement patterns that define our character and shape.
So let's unpack this for a moment.
What this means is that if you've been stressed out for a while, and your neck and back have been "feeling it", at a certain point, it's no longer a matter of just stretching out the muscles that got tight, because your connective tissue has begun to hold that shape. It's keeping your bones and your joints in that posture, and your standard workout isn't going to do much to change that pattern.
Connective tissue takes a while to stretch. It's different than muscles. The world of " Harder, Faster, More" just doesn't apply here. Slow, gentle stretching, held for longer periods of time, is the way to go.
Essentially this is all about exploring the process of " surrender".
For many people, Yin Yoga is their pathway in to this realm, but it's not the only path.
I recently read this wonderful article on connective tissue stretching, which relates the technique of twisting acupuncture needles to this very process.
Gently moving the skin to allow for a deeper muscular release has been a technique of mine for a number of years, and I am glad to have discovered the science behind it.
Here's a 20 minute workout designed to release the deep and superficial fascia of your neck, back, and hips.
This workout was choreographed not only as a prayer for all of our souls in their " meat cars" but also for the political state of the nation I live in.
What we need now, more than ever, is to find the commonalities between all of our separate definitions of self. To strengthen those ties that connect us all, and use that matrix as a vehicle to communicate peace and harmony to all living beings on this Earth.
This takes real effort and focus, but is not impossible.
Breathing is helpful.
My mission is to create a world where people are happy in their bodies.
I believe that happier people will bring us closer to a world that exists in