Have you ever heard of MyoYin? With this combined practice of Myofascial Release & Yin Yoga, you can relieve pain, reduce stress and improve your athletic performance. In this article, you will learn more about both Myofascial Release and Yin Yoga and how they work together to improve your overall system. At the end of this article, you will find a video and a free video yoga class for you! In this way, you can try out the advantages of this method right away and feel the changes you notice in your body and mind.
The combinative power of MyoYin
When we apply Myofascial Release and Yin Yoga together in the form of MyoYin (named by its creator and yoga teacher Jo Phee) we work with the fascia system in our body. This rehydrates connective tissue and, as a result, muscles and ligaments. This means that we promote the supply of fluids, and the tissue remains supple, flexible and stable.
The powerful combination of Myofascial Release and Yin Yoga in the form of MyoYin is a comprehensive and effective method that relieves and eliminates pain and increases mobility and flexibility from head to toe. As a result, you will increase your physical performance and develop a better inner and outer body awareness. MyoYin also improves your breathing, which helps to release physical and emotional stress and emotional blockages (which have manifested themselves in your body in the form of tension and pain).
Immediately noticeable effect
I can tell you from my own experience: once you have felt MyoYin and the deep release of fascia, there is no going back. Maybe you have even experienced it already... this change in your body and mind, a feeling of lightness, of letting go.
The wonderful thing about working with fascia is that you don't need to know too much about anatomy or physiology to notice and feel how it works in your body. This is what brings us back to the yoga mat in the end - the present moment with inner insight to let go of things like pain, tension, stress and much more. This creates space and brings you back to yourself, and gives you radiant YINsights.
However, to understand MyoYin better, it is helpful to look at some crucial basics and get a little insight into what fascia is and how it wants to be moved.
What is fascia - background knowledge
Dr. Jean Claude Guimberteau mentioned in a lecture in London in 2019: "For several hundred years, anatomists and surgeons like him have neglected this tissue/system, as it seems to be non-existent". However, according to him, the fact is that "it is not only something but that it is everything!
David Lesondak describes the fascia in his excellent book (Fascia- What it is and why it matters) as follows: "The most important thing to keep in mind is that the fascia network is a continuous structure throughout the body... To the body, the fascia is all one - a complex, holistic, self-regulating organ... So imagine a silver-white material that is both flexible and robust - a substance that surrounds and penetrates every muscle, coats every bone, covers every organ and encases every nerve. The fascia keeps everything separate and connected at the same time.
No wonder fascia has such a significant influence on our body, heart and mind, since it is everywhere and connected to everything. Naturally, there are different opinions on how to categorize fascia. In terms of MyoYin, I will only distinguish between superficial and deep fascia.
Fascial training - 4 tips
Tom Meyers explains on his Anatomy Trains Youtube Channel 4 tips on how fascia can be trained to stay healthy and fit.
1. vectors - Varying the vectors of training (different load, different training units, different muscle groups).
2. jumping, swinging (elasticity) - fast, dynamic, athletic speed (Yang Yoga, trampoline, running, kettlebell...)
3. lengthening - creating length through slow and long-lasting stretches (Yin Yoga, Taichi).
4. hydration - (S)MFR/rolling, movement.
In MyoYin we focus mainly on 3. and 4. of the movements mentioned above to keep the fascia healthy. Let us now look at the two components of MyoYin, starting with MFR.
What is Myofascial Release (MFR)?
Myofascial Release is made up of Myofascia = Myo (muscle fibre) + fascia (the fascia sheaths that wrap around the muscle fibres to form a muscle) and Release, the release of pain points and tension in the fascia and muscles.
Tiffany Cruikshank, the founder of "Yoga Medicine", describes in her article (Connective Tissue Health & Myofascial Release) that myofascial release refers to any technique that works on the muscles and fascia. There are many different modalities. Myofascial release can be performed as manual therapy or as self-care. The most common technique for self-care with Myofascial Release, which we also use in MyoYin, is often referred to as SMFR (Self-Myofascial Release). This application usually involves the use of aids such as balls, blocks, towels or fascial rolls.
Important when using aids
1. roll/glide slowly and with light pressure over your tissue. Less is more - It doesn't have to hurt to work, on the contrary, because otherwise the muscle cannot relax, and you might damage your tissue and cause inflammation.
2. work exclusively on intact tissue (no wounds, injuries, etc.)
3. stay away from bones, nerves or sensations that feel sharp, shoot or radiate
4. where the pain often lies is usually not the cause
What is Yin Yoga?
Yin Yoga is a relatively passive style of yoga. The poses are held over a more extended period, usually 2 to 5 minutes or even more. This allows your muscles to relax more and more over time. Through this relaxation, you will reach your deep connective tissue with stimulation. This is where fascia, ligaments, tendons, bones and joints can be gently stressed.
What to consider when practising Yin Yoga:
1. do not go as deep into the pose as possible. Go only to the point where you can feel a mild amount of resistance. Avoid any stabbing pain or over-sensations that prevent you from relaxing.
2. tools such as yoga blocks, pillows, or blankets can help you find that interesting edge of intensity that allows you to hold the pose for a longer time. You can then stay there and notice how your body gradually softens on its own as much as it can.
3. how long you should stay in the pose depends on several factors. Always be aware that everybody is different. Your health, the intention of your practice and your emotional state also play a role. Pay attention to your body and feel inside yourself what is suitable for your practice at the moment.
This is what a MyoYin practice can look like
Depending on your intentions, you start with Yin Yoga or Myofascial Release or apply both techniques simultaneously. This combined practice allows you to have a lasting effect on your fascia, on the one hand by using different tools and on the other hand by pulling or compressing the tissue with Yin poses. In addition, mindful breathing and a conscious focus on the area you are working on will help you release adhesions, deep-rooted tensions, and trigger points (which often lead to constrictions and pain in the body).
Once you have changed the habitual pattern of fascia, you can start to influence the chronic tension in the tissue. The long-held poses in Yin Yoga give the muscle time to relax and let go. As this happens, we begin to work on deeper layers of the fascia. This can ultimately lead to physical and emotional healing. With the knowledge of fascia and the understanding that they form a holistic system, it is also important to understand that when we work, let go, relax and thereby hydrate and revitalise an area of the body and the fascia in the MyoYin practice, this leads to profound changes in the entire body and mind.
While research continues to explore these methods, the intuition and perception of our own body can safely and reliably point us in the right direction.
Completion, not replacement
MyoYin does not replace all other types of training. Instead, your MyoYin practice complements the current yang and activity-focused world, focusing on muscle, cardiovascular, and coordination training. In other words: MyoYin completes the whole picture of the power of Yin and Yang in harmony.
Here is a free 20-minute trial MyoYin session (in German language).
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radiantYINsight does not assume any liability for the topicality, correctness, completeness or quality of the information provided. The contents of this platform editorially serve for informative purposes. They, therefore, do not represent any healing statements or promises of treatment successes and the like.
About the author
Sabine Winkler is an internationally active yoga teacher, coach and trainer. She lives and teaches in Vienna and leads workshops, teacher training and retreats worldwide. During her many years of travels, she has completed over 3000 hours of training in the Sivananda Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Iyengar styles. In addition, Sabine is an assistant teacher of the renowned... more