Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘fascia’

Yin Yoga

Posted by terrepruitt on April 4, 2018

Have you ever heard of Yin Yoga? It is one of those “new” yogas that is out there. New, as in it has not been around for hundreds of years. It surfaced in the West in the late 1970’s, as taught by Paulie Zink and became more commonly known under the teachings of Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers. Each having their own style and take on it. Yin Yoga focuses more on the joints and connective tissues as opposed to the more widely known “yang” yoga that focuses on the muscles. Yin Yoga is very slow, in addition each pose can be held from 3 to 20 minutes. As with any type of physical activity when first starting it is recommended to start slow, or in the case of Yin – LESS. So someone first starting out, someone new to the practice, might hold a pose for 1 to 3 minutes and build up to the longer holds. Yin is very interesting, to me, at least, because it not only focuses on the joints and connective tissue, but it also focuses on the meridians or energy channels in the body. So while you are stretching your fascia, tendons, ligaments, and opening the joints, you are also unblocking the meridians and allowing Qi to flow more freely.

I have heard of Qi and the meridians before and, honestly, I am not sure I am a firm believer in all that is involved with meridians and the movement of Qi. But I will say that there is definitely a difference when I do the Yin asana. So . . . I am interested in learning about it.

What we are learning in the Yin Yoga Teacher Training I am taking is about the twelve principal sinew meridians. Meridians are used in acupuncture and acupressure and there are hundreds that travel and weave throughout the body, but the twelve sinew meridians are the ones that are affected the most in the Yin asana or poses. They are the ones that are more easily identified as they can be considered more of “in an area”. Most Yin asana have to do with the lower body and the meridians of the legs.

As I was sitting in the first two lectures about all this information, I was pretty confused (and it wasn’t the first time I had heard some of it). By the second set of lectures I was overwhelmed. But today I went over my notes and a lot of it made sense. And a lot of it sounded familiar, as if I might be remembering some of the information. What I am saying is there is a lot of information so this is just barely touching the surface. It is just a little post that is an introduction to Yin Yoga and its relation to the meridians/energy channels in the body.

Yin Yoga poses affect the different meridians. The time one stays in a Yin pose allows for the body to stretch and the meridians to open or become unblocked and allow the Qi to flow.  Chinese Medicine relates the blockage of Qi to a whole list of symptoms that are related to illness.

Have you heard of Yin Yoga?  What do you think about Qi and the meridians? 

Posted in Yin Yoga, Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Fascia a Fascinating Structure

Posted by terrepruitt on May 8, 2012

After teaching Nia a couple of weeks ago I realized I had a knot in my back.  It was one of those things that felt fine while I was moving.  So in my Nia class I didn’t notice it.  When I was moving about the house I didn’t notice.  When I stopped moving is when it starting hurting.  It was one of those body issues that is so uncomfortable it is painful.  I mean no matter which position I sat in, stood in, lied in, it was there.  It was painfully annoying.  I believe I tend to hold my stress there.  I have posted about this “spot” before.  I tried using a ball to rub it out.  I asked my husband to massage it.  Both helped but it came back the next day.  It even kept me awake the next morning.  I just wanted a few more minutes of sleep but my muscle was saying, no.

I had noticed when my husband was trying to work out the knot I had the strangest sensation.  The spot of the pain was right beneath my shoulder blade but when he was pressing on it a tingling poking kind of sensation travelled up my entire shoulder blade.  I thought that was very odd.  I thought the muscle must contain a lot of nerves that run along the scapula.  I thought it was odd that I had this disbursing sensation over my shoulder blade.

That was over the weekend and after Nia class on Monday one of my Nia students, a physical therapist, said she would look at it.  She found the knot – as it was easy to feel and she began working on it.  She said it was fascia!  Ahhhhh!  That explains why when my husband was trying to rub it out think it was a knot in the muscle I was sensing it all over my shoulder blade.  (Wiki:  “A fascia is a structure of connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other.”)  She pressed on both ends of it and was able to work it out.  The next day it was sore, but I used the ball and it has been fine since.  Fascia is fascinating.  Fascia is the yellow stuff that is sometime still connected to chicken breast.  And I am sure if you work with whole chickens you can see it too.

Here is a video about “fuzzy” fascia. Below the video on YouTube, Gil Hedley has noted that since the video was made in 2005 he has somewhat changed his ideas a little bit.  But the video itself is still fascinating as it shows you the fascia in the body.

WARNING this video is of a cadaver.  Mr. Hedley is using it to show what fascia is. He stated in his updated write up “ . . . it is normal for there to be “fuzzy” tissue between “individual muscles” within the muscle layer. As with all tissues of the body, all the matter of which it consists is transitioning at various paces, some quicker, some more slowly. “Fuzzy” tissues indeed cycle more quickly then some more dense tissues.”


As we know it is not just keeping our fascia mobile as the reason for moving, but it is interesting to see another part of our bodies that benefit from movement.  I knew about fascia before discovering Nia, but I was introduced to Gil Hedley via Nia.  Nia often makes the scientific connections in our continued education.  There is a lot of continuing education material that deal with anatomy.  Moving our fascia is just one reason why we dance.

 

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »