Exploring Fascia

Once you find the energy body and you thread your awareness through it, it does the movement for you. – Gioia Irwin


e know so little about fascia and yet we are on  the  right track!  We are fortunate here in  Vancouver to have the Massage Therapist Association of British Columbia host the Third International Fascia Research Congress  March 28-30 this year (2012).


If you cannot make it to the conference, especially if you are a Yoga teacher, body worker or movement practitioner, or just simply want to see what your  body is made of, you may be interested in attending a one-day workshop on March 25 by the Anatomist  Gil Headley,  coming to Vancouver to present at the  Conference.


Although mainstream medicine only began research on fascia over the last 4o years, Osteopathy was working with it for more than a century  (late 1800’s) . We live, breathe and move through our fascia and its intrinsic motion is a fundamental expression of life itself.

The soul of man, with all the streams of pure living water, seems to dwell in the fascia of his body. – The Founder of Osteopathy, A.T.Still


The fibrous system of fascia is an unbroken network throughout the entire body, the same as the vascular and nervous net. Fascia surrounds every muscle, organ, nerve, and blood vessel. Its function is to support, lubricate and connect.


It’s fascinating, though, that the mechanical information (tension and compression) travelling through this network is faster than both the vascular or nervous systems,  approximately travelling at the speed of the sound!  So, does that mean that if we sing to fascia it may “hear” us?


On the other hand, the repairing of this fibrous deformation and compensation may take weeks, month and even years to heal, as we know well if we have had an injury.  Therefore, “the fibrous system is both the fastest (in communicating) and the slowest (in responding) of the three systems” (T. Myer).


Tomas Myers, a pioneer in the field of fascia, identified 12 or so myofascial longitudinal tracks, coining the term “Anatomy Trains“. These tracks of fascia somewhat coincide with the ancient Daoist findings of energetic meridians, the basis of Traditional Chinese  Medicine and Acupuncture.


To understand the network of fascia, it is inevitable to explore the modern principle of Bio-tensegrity. Understanding and applying the principle of bio-tensegrity brings new light in movement practices (such as Yoga, palates or dance) helping us find, restore and properly use our amazing locomotor system, cultivating ease, generous, poised movement and structural stability as well as expand this to mental  and emotional stability and ease that percolate in all aspects of our lives and relationships.


In other words, to access this fascial “sign language”  throughout the body, one has to develop and cultivate kinaesthetic intelligence, which is very different from our intellectual,  intelligence quotient (IQ). In this case, we are “getting out of the way ” of what our intellect tells us and taping directly into the intelligence of the soma itself!


 In the teachings of Yoga, there is a hypothesis that fascia is a “tuning fork” for the energy “body” (in Yoga called the “Pranamaya Kosha”).

As Gioia Irwin insinuates, if we “tune-in” to this unbroken fascial network and move with ITS awareness, then this intelligent continuum does the movement for us and it’s effortless (Daoist idea of “Song“).


The Anatomists also say that in this continuous network,  our eyes are the headlights of our human fasciae (G. Hedley).  Isn’t there a saying that the “eyes are the window of one’s soul”?  Maybe if we tune in to our fascia, we tune into our soul as A.T. Still suggested? …

If one is curious,  one may find out.  As a Yoga and meditation “somanout” (G. Hedley’s  term for the “astronauts”  exploring the inner space of soma), I am curious HOW we get out of the way and YIELD, give way, to this internal intelligence, how to in-courage our human awareness to release its grip of  fascination with our thoughts and dive deeply into  “brain” of the soma and let it guide the way.

This is, what we call, the  PRACTICE of  Yoga.



Lidija Martinovic Rekert

The Yoga Wheel Founder

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