Fascia in MindBodyGreen
A nice article on fascia by Laura Probert showed up on mindbodygreen.com. It's good to see more articles on fascia hitting the mainstream. Here's the big take aways, including something I'm not sure I agree with (the first 2 are good advice, always): 1. Stay awake. Be aware inside your body while you're stretching. Quiet your mind, feel what's happening and stay in that focused awareness during your exercises. Awareness is the key to making a change in the tissue, to healing, to transforming your body.
2. Breathe! Stretching is 90% breathing and relaxation, which puts us back at awareness. Breath is life, so if you're holding your breath and not realizing it, you're asleep. Wake up, breathe, relax and let go into your stretches.
3. Hold your myofascial stretch for at least three minutes. Five is better. Why? Because the physiological effect of permanent elongation of the tissues that is your primary goal of this kind of stretching only happens after a long, slow, sustained pressure, after which the body will begin to change your dried up fascia into its natural, fluid healthy state again.
While I get the logic in holding, that's simply not going to work for everyone. A supported Gary Kraftsow-like restorative yoga pose maybe, I've certainly held them longer than that but it all depends on the goal. I'm thinking of my work with people with scoliosis, and my training in such with Robert Schleip who was very adamant about not keeping such folks in any one fixed position for very long. And I'm thinking of a particular yogi I know who has a scoliosis and cannot stand yin yoga.
One size does not fit all and actual mileage varies. Especially with fascia!