Here’s an interesting fact: you cannot tension fascia without also tensioning muscle. In part, this is because we cannot consciously tension fascia so tensioning has to happen through the muscles and muscles happen to be a major source of motivation within the body (fascia doesn’t go anywhere without them). Conversely, it is the dynamic balance that fascia brings to the muscular system that allows us to care for our muscles. What this means is that muscle-focused movement has the ability to improve fascia’s ability to integrate the things that happen in its immediate environment. This, in turn, improves its functionality. Such is the work of muscle collaboration when it comes to our fascia.
Learn about fascia and yin yoga here.
Some of the ways we can train muscles so that they can work efficiently with fascia are through exercises that focus on toning, core stability and the ability to differentiate between local and global muscle movement. We can focus on movement that allows for variation in direction, loading and the positions we move through. Core stability is particularly interesting because although we might think it will fixate the body and restrict its range of motion, what core stability actually does (if we build our relationship to it intelligently) is keep the body ‘flexibly aligned’ regardless of what we’re doing. This is the means by which muscle collaboration happens.
The movement we choose should lead us toward a greater feeling of overall balance, a sense of symmetry and a feeling of grounding. Do this, and our muscles will partner with us to keep us, and our fascia, moving in a functional, balanced way.
Another quality of fascia is 'tensile stability'. This is the body's ability to be both moveable and stable. Learn more here.