About Yoga

This is a translated version from Lin Liangchuan’s article on facebook, the founder of his Fascia and bone adjustment method, which I am very interested in and have seen some amazing results of it. I’ve tried to get the author’s permission for publishing it but failed. Please contact me if there’s any copyright issue. (My English is not good, fortunately I’m not making a living on translation)

When I was running the former outpatient clinic, I’ve treated a lot of patients injured because of practicing Yoga, also treated a lot of yoga teachers as well, therefore I was in deep wary about Yoga. Recently I wanted to change some of the external and internal structure of the body, but my original practice encountered some bottlenecks, so I tried some other methods, including Yoga, so I have a new idea of this knowledge. What I originally practiced was mainly in the circulation of coherent body different systems, different levels of fascia. But for the adhesion between the fascia or between the tendon and the bone, to relax, I need a higher perspective or a longer period of time exercise, which is not achievable with my current experience in a short period of time. I find Yoga however could do that, but at the same time I think yoga is a very dangerous method. I practice Taiji, mainly belong to the standing work, standing, leg muscles on the bone plate involved, will make the torso movements limited, the spine and ribs are not active to the limit that they should be able to move open, so that the deepest muscle in the middle of the torso can’t be unravel, There is no way for the whole fascia system to complete the reorganization smoothly.

Nowadays Yoga teaching seems has become mainly a posture method, through the body to make a certain posture, to achieve the body structure or function of the adjustment. Yoga has a lot of action on the floor, lying on the floor can lift the leg muscle contraction, so the torso can reach its activity limit, the body can twist at various angles, so it’s easier to open different levels of fascia between the adhesion, and can increase the active angle of tendon attached to the bone. The dislocation of the body, is basically a kind of rotation, if yoga practice is good, it can gradually unravel different systems at different levels of physical problems, restore the body structure. But there are some prerequisites, the main thing is that yoga teachers or practitioners, know what their physical problems are, what they need, in order to really solve the problem, therefore it will not cause further harm.

Yoga practice needs to pose for many specific positions, there should be a lot of details to explore clearly, but also a lot of physical restoration needs to understand the knowledge, rather than yoga teacher said the posture is not correct. Correct posture is not the core of this knowledge. For the same action, because each person’s physical problems and needs are different, so each person can do the same action with different appearances. In addition, the role of breathing and the training of the body’s inner view, in the posture of the exercise, occupies a very important part. Every Yoga teacher said that the action needs to cooperate with breathing, but how to breathe, how to cooperate with the action, I did not see anyone clearly stated. Of course, this may also because I am a layman of this learning, my knowledge of it is limited.

Based on my experience in going to Yoga class and reading Yoga books, now Yoga practice has become a kind of stretching contest, it seems that the who can pose in more distorted way, is the one that practice better. Like a book I saw in a bookstore, it felt because that a Yoga practitioner could twist his body like a rubber band, known as a Yoga master, I think it’s a big problem.  From my previous experience in treating Yoga teachers, I asked them:  You did know that some movements can cause harm to your body, why did you have to do more than your limit? Their answers were usually: because students could do it, teachers couldn’t be worse than them, so they have to do it. I often ask them: teacher is to teach knowledge, which NBA basketball coach plays better than the players?

When you turn yoga into a stretching contest, it creates a lot of problems. The whole fascia system is basically not elasticity, it is generally not able to shrink or expand. It has some buffer space in the activity, but that is for use in the normal range of activities. When you stretch the skeleton to the limit, these buffer spaces disappear, all you do is to pull the fascia of other side of the body through the contraction of the muscles on one side of the body, which will only pull the body’s structure system crooked, twisted, the place that being stretched will feel relatively loose, but that is only because the body is borrowing fascia from other places to use it.

 So some of the yoga teachers I treated, as well as some senior yoga practitioners, as the results of desperately strained, the fascia at the end of the body are very tight, such as fingers, toes are very tight, so that the terminal circulation is very bad, which will suppress the kinetic energy of the heart, and on the surface although the body is very loose, But in essence, the tension drop between different layers of the fascia is very large, and the deep fascia is actually tight.

The body’s fascia system is a three-dimensional structure network, really healthy body, deep and shallow layer of the network of content, tension is to be the same, but also in the dynamic, the body of the shallow layer of all the content is the way to move according to the concentric circle, Chinese traditional method, like Taiji, is based on such principles So that the deep fascia of the body can follow the shallow slip flow. Therefore, one of the most important principles of this kind of practice is: “once move, the whole body would move, there shouldn’t be any place that will not move “.  Every part of the body moves under the same tension. This must make different levels of fascia in a concentric circle of the way to be able to do.

The way the body uses the muscle system on a daily basis is often immobilizing a certain part of the body to be the base for other part of the body to move. Such as when we have to reach for the cup, we would immobilize the muscle that holds the shoulder strap, while the arm’s muscles would shrink. Or, like walking, we would fix the muscles of the waist and pelvis, while shrinks the muscles of the legs. The use of such a way, will make the body fascia system tension is not complete, the direction of the muscle contraction of the deep and shallow layer will appear uncoordinated, in the depth of the joint tension will continue to grow. This shallow layer of muscles is in a staggered state, if the way to move with a tendon, the shallow fascia taut pull, the deep fascia system will be more tightly locked, the shallow fascia slip becomes smooth is at the expense of the dynamic nature of the deep fascia be less mobile.

Due to the wide range of activities of our limbs, the limitations are mainly from the skin and shallow fascia, stretching will make the dynamic of the shallow fascia increased, but did not follow the concentric circle of the way to make the fascia restore accordingly, so there are some people who practice yoga for a long time, actually they are afraid of the cold.

Now the yoga class, a lot of focus in the posture, only care about the position is not correct, or what can be achieved by this position, and did not pay attention to the change that the body should have during the process.

From the point of view of body structure therapy, I think the most valuable part for yoga is the process, and breathing in the process of posing and after putting on a position. In the process of posing, the action should be slow and smooth, so that the body’s fascia system has enough time to coordinate and reorganize, and when the tension in body start to appear but  has not reached the tension limit, it must stop, so that the fascia system has time to rearrange and reorganize in this position.

In practice, the teacher should know what kind of posture is more needed for students, and should know in what kind of situation, is the limit that students can do under this position, that is, how students should restore his structure, and the limits that can be restored at present, rather than always emphasizing what the benefits of these actions are to the body.

In practice, when posture is close to the limit of tension, it indicates that the pathway of body structure to restore is ready, what is needed is to, let the body rearrange under this posture, that is, the fascia system re-unlock, tendon and bone re-alignment. But the key is although the structure is ready, the body may not go as expected, then a trigger is needed to guide the fascia system to slip.  This trigger power can be of two kinds.

One is the slight flexor and extension, and shaking of the limb. The way to let the muscles relax and restore is to rotate the fascia that wraps this muscle to equal left and right tension, and the strip muscles can be loosened.  Muscle can’t be loosen, is due to the fascia system wrapping, because of the fascia system rotation, rather than the muscle itself problems, that’s why the book ”myofascial” is wrong from the very beginning till the end.

In the position that is close to the limit, do not pull the limb to the limit, slightly leave some movable space, so that the whole body can be in the direction of the longitudinal axis slight flex and extend, so that each local fascia system reorganize, the tension between the two systems across the joint becomes connected and even. A slight shake in the direction of the transverse axis allows the deeply tightened system to have the opportunity to loosen the tension and restore.

There is also a power to restore trigger that is breathing. There are two ways to breathe, one is chest breathing and the other is abdominal breathing. Chest breathing, is through pulling ribs to trigger skin and shallow fascia system to slip. Abdominal breathing, is through pulling the diaphragm to trigger viscera and other deep fascia to move, both are necessary.

The reason for Yoga to be a profound learning, is definitely not only because of its effect in physical level, but also because it’s a spiritual exercise. When in the process of posing posture, the reason for the movement need to be slow and smooth, is because to feel the process of posing, fascia system can do concentric round spread and reorganization, in the process we must feel different depth of tension changes in different parts of the body, we must be able to see and feel at the same time, of all the details of the body, in order to find their own needs of the precise angle. Problematic details in body, will appear uncomfortable tension in the course of physical activity to let the brain feel, the more peaceful the mind, the more delicate details can be felt.

Our bodies remember emotions, emotions and bodies are in a state of co-structure, and the stimulation of certain parts or muscles of the body can cause certain emotions. The appearance of that emotion can also cause changes in the contraction of muscles or hormones. In the process of physical restoring, many emotions and deep memories of life would reappear, in the exercise, if we are in a clam and quiet perspective, lots of trauma and emotions will emerge and can be seen, and gradually heal, if the heart is not calm enough, then we won’t be able to see and heal.

There is also a situation, after the posture is set, when using breathing to pull fascia, whether to use abdominal breathing first to pull deep fascia, or chest breathing to pull shallow fascia, can only be mastered when someone has a clear sense of awareness of how to restore one’s body. Breathing and slight flexural shaking, is the most important self-structural adjustment, in the process. The serenity and observation of the heart are very similar to the breathing guidance established in ancient China. As a result, yoga in the course of the exercise, gradually from both physical and mental aspects of the clear self.

In this position of the exercise process, the fascia system gradually to the position, reduction, loosening, this time the limb can gradually extend, a lot of deep adhesion can be untied, but also because of the stimulation of repeated drills, fascia system gradually reorganize growth. These are the ideas that I put forward from the point of view of the practicing structural therapist, not necessarily the original meaning of Yoga, but I think it should be well worth the reference for a modern Yoga teacher.

Lin Liangchuan

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