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TitleMyofascial yoga : a movement and yoga therapists guide to asana
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Total Pages119
Table of Contents
                            CHAPTER ONE: WHAT IS MYOFASCIAL YOGA?
CHAPTER TWO: Superficial BACK LINE and Superficial Front Line
CHAPTER Three: Lateral Line, “Our internal fishiness”
CHAPTER Four: spiral Line or MÖbius strip
CHAPTER Five: deep front line, “our core”
CHAPTER SIX: The Arm lines and Functional Line
CHAPTER Seven: Alignment, Touch and Body Reading
CHAPTER eight: eastern MEDICINE
CHAPTER nine: Sequencing your myofascial yoga class
Document Text Contents
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only it is done standing up. Place the hands on the quadriceps and as you inhale
filling up the belly with yin breathing, lift through the sternum and take a gentle
gaze upward. We then exhale, drawing the navel back and rounding into Cat

Figure 5.2 The “Wave” pose (

Through the wave you feel the DFL moving and engaging the deeper aspects of
the core. This pose can also be done seated in a chair or in Easy pose
( ).

The DFL follows the tibialis posterior, up to the intermuscular septum of the
femur, to the pelvic floor and up the tail of the spine-anterior longitudinal
ligament. Tom Myers is quite thorough here with the three aspects one can take
from anterior, medial and posterior through the thoracic cavity. I will not go into
such detail here. The most anterior aspect arises at the neck on the infrahyoid
muscles (location of the throat lock), medial on medial scalenes
and posterior longus colli and capitis. Any work that offers a release to the
infrahyoids, scalenes and longus colli/capitis will offer a profound release of the
DFL. We literally hang from our heads—imagine a fascial wedding dress that
drapes downward. When we adjust how we hang from our heads, the shoulders
soften downwards and connect with a smoother line to the sacrum and pelvis.
This allows for our body to find a balance in our cranial sacral rhythm!

Back to breath!

In learning how to breathe correctly, plays an important part of a full
yoga practice. The DFL is strongly correlated to how we breathe. Often in
trauma, such as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), the client will have
shallow upper chest breathing. To assist in healing one must learn the deep belly
breaths. If we over engage the hammock sling of the pelvic floor we lock our
diaphragm down from heading further south (figure 5.3)! Thus, the gentle
energetic pelvic floor lift is preferred, to maximize our breath capacity.

Figure 5.3 This faithful reproduction of a lithograph plate from Gray's Anatomy,

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a two-dimensional work of art, is not copyrightable in the U.S. as per Bridgeman
Art Library v. Corel Corp.; the same is also true in many other countries,
including Germany. Unless stated otherwise, it is from the 20th U.S. edition of
Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, originally published in 1918 and therefore

lapsed into the public domain.

Another way to experience the breath is to
divide the three diaphragms of the thoracic
cavity. We have a pelvic balloon located in
the whole pelvis. Secondly, we have a
visceral balloon that contains the internal
organs and guts. Lastly, we have a thoracic
balloon with the lungs and the pericardium.

Sometimes, I teach my clients how to breathe and expand each of these balloons
individually, then articulate the breathing into all three simultaneously. This
teaches the yogi that there is more to breath work, and that there is a
consequence to bringing the breath in to conscious awareness. Pranayama is a
wonderful opportunity to transfer the unconscious patterns and bring them to the
surface to reflect the change.

As “fascialists,” we are yoga astronauts seeking “space” in our bodies all the
time. We want our diaphragms, as well as all our viscera (organs), to have more
space to do their work. I am all about encouraging happy livers, spleens,
kidneys, etc. If you choose a more rigid, locked down pelvic floor, the result is
less breath capacity and hypertonicity of the pelvic floor muscles!

Nicole Crawford, MS in Biomechanics states that “a Kegel attempts to
strengthen the pelvic floor, but it really only continues to pull the sacrum inward
promoting even more weakness, and more pelvic floor gripping. The muscles
that balance out the anterior pull on the sacrum are the glutes. A lack of glutes
(having no butt) is what makes this group so much more susceptible to pelvic
floor disorder (PFD). Zero lumbar curvature (missing the little curve at the small
of the back) is the most telling sign that the pelvic floor is beginning to weaken.
An easier way to say this is: Weak glutes + too many Kegels = PFD.”[11]

Yoga squats or Garland pose (Malasana) are a great poses to teach in class

Page 118

Alana Grier, LMT and RYT began her studies in Eastern
Medicine and Meditation in 1987 at the New England
Shiatsu Center in Boston. She has been a dancer and yoga
practitioner for nearly 30 years and enjoys sharing
movement with children and adults both therapeutically and
as a personal trainer. Alana has enjoyed a well-rounded
career in wellness for over 20 years. She has been practicing
as a Licensed Massage Therapist since 1990. She is a

graduate of the Career Ladder Nursing Program at Kauai Community College.
She is an instructor in the UNM-Taos Yoga Teacher Training Program.

Celestia LeePearl Carson, a mom of three beautiful daughters
and is currently a student in the UNM-Taos Integrative
Massage Therapy Program. She was 8 months pregnant during
the photos shoot and her third daughter was born May 2, 2013.

Nicole “Nikki” Rodriguez, a mom of three
wonderful children and is currently a
student in the UNM-Integrative Massage
Therapy Program.

[1] Watts, Alan The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966).
[2] Bachman, Nicolai, The Yoga Sutras Workbook (Sounds True, Inc. 2011) 6.

[3] Korzybski, Alfred remark attributed to Polish-American scientist and
philosopher, 2013.
[4] Bateson, Gregory Steps to an Ecology of Mind (Chandler Publishing Co.
[5] Maturana, Humberto and Varela, Francisco, The Tree of Knowledge:
Biological basis of human understanding, (Shambala 1992).

Page 119

[6] Lad, Vasant M.A.Sc., Textbook of Ayurveda Fundamental Principles (The
Ayurvedic Press 2002) 1.

[7] Goswami, Amit Ph.D., The Quantum Doctor: A physicist’s guide to health
and healing (Hampton Roads Publishing, Co. 2004) 107.

[8] Buddhananda, Swami, Moola Bandha: The Master Key (Yoga Publications
Trust, Munger, Bihar, India 1978) 19.

[9] Schleip, R., “Chart: Fascial mechanoreceptors and their potential role in deep
tissue manipulation,” “Fascial plasticity—a new neurobiological explanation.”
Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 7(1):11-19 and 7(2):104-116.

[10] Schleip, R., “Chart: Fascial mechanoreceptors and their potential role in
deep tissue manipulation,” “Fascial plasticity—a new neurobiological
explanation.” Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 7(1):11-19 and

[11] Crawford N
[12] Earl, James and Myers, Thomas Fascial Release for Structural Balance
(Lotus Publishing 2010) 124.
[13] Singleton, Mark Yoga Body: The origins of modern posture practice.
(Oxford University Press 2010) 114.
[14] Deadman, Peter A Manual of Acupuncture (Journal of Chinese Medicine
Publications 2007).
[15] Judith, Anodea, Eastern Body Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra
System as a Path to the Self (Celestial Arts, 2004) 38.

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