Shake Awake

“The word ‘myofascia’ connotes the bundled together, inseparable nature of muscle tissue (myo-) and its accompanying web of connective tissue (fascia)… The design, if you will—of the ‘fibrous body’ in the upright adult human. This fibrous body consists of the entire collagenous net , which includes all the tissues surrounding and attaching the organs as well as the collagen in bones, cartilage and elsewhere.” Thomas Myers
“Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue that provides support and protection for most structures within the human body, including muscle.” Wikepedia
In a workshop she taught at Yoga on High several years ago, Melinda Cooksey showed us a series of movements made by flapping or swinging parts of the body that release tension head to toe, or fingertip to fingertip, or leg to hip and up into the ribcage. Given her example, I came up with a set of these movements that are my favorites, along with some simple stretches that complement them. When you watch the short video demonstrating them, you will see them travel through the body along the lines of the fascial net. The first exercise flaps the feet, which nods the head. To me, these movements feel warming and deeply relaxing and can be done anywhere. Melinda suggested doing them first thing in the morning, but I’ve done them to relax before going to sleep or even on the floors of airports during longer-then-expected layovers. Yoga teachers, if you discover that your whole class is exhausted, these movements are appreciated.

Watch the video to see how they work, but do them without watching. This is not really a led practice. Christen, the model in the video, demonstrates each movement a few times, but you should repeat each movement for as long as you like. Other than moving the body loosely and freely, rather than tightly controlling each movement, there’s no wrong way to do these. Follow the natural inclinations of your body.

[vimeo w=400&h=225]

Linda Oshins -- Video Blog Entry from Matthew J. Cline on Vimeo.

My thanks to Melinda Cooksey who will be teaching again at Yoga on High on Saturday, June 2, and to Christen Corey, a budding yoga teacher, master chef, and the model for this practice. And grateful kudos to Matt Cline who made the video so patiently. His website is www.

2 Responses to Shake Awake
  1. fashionrolodex

    I’d forgotten how much I like this sequence, it’s been a while! Lovely to be “in class with you” from a distance. xo

    • linda oshins

      Yikes, I keep forgetting to look on the website to see after a blog post! You will be so desparately missed around YOHI. Vive la France!