Free Your Back Body Like Never Before: A Flow for Your Fascia

Do you practice yoga regularly but somehow still feel “stuck” in certain spots? Senior Yoga Medicine teacher Allison Candelaria created this fascia-freeing flow to find more mobility in the backside of your body.
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Do you practice yoga regularly but somehow still feel “stuck” in certain spots? Senior Yoga Medicine teacher Allison Candelaria created this fascia-freeing flow to find more mobility in the backside of your body.

Do you practice yoga regularly but somehow still feel “stuck” in certain spots? Senior Yoga Medicine teacher Allison Candelaria created this fascia-freeing flow to tune up the whole backside of your body.

The back side of the body takes on a lot of tension. Our postural habits, stress and natural tendency to move mostly in the sagittal plane (forward, specifically) can all be to blame. Sitting, standing, and walking make the external rotators of the hips, hamstrings, and calves tight and weak. Our low backs tend to house discomfort from sitting, over-exaggerating the curve in the lumbar spine (hyperlordosis), and even sinking your weight into one hip while standing. Moving up the body, the rhomboids (the muscles between the shoulder blades and spine) become weak from our tendency to round the upper back. And the upper traps (top of the shoulders and neck) are notorious for holding stress-induced tension. To top it all off, our necks have to work very hard to hold up our heads, so tension can get trapped in the base of the skull and sometimes send referral pain to other areas in the body.

All in all, our back body works really hard to hold us up every day. By focusing on the fascia, this flow can help release these common areas of tension, giving the muscles greater capacity to fire more efficiently. This yoga sequence will tackle one area at a time, releasing the fascia then retraining those released muscles to lengthen and strengthen to the best of their ability. Not only can this flow reduce pain and increase range of motion, but with a consistent practice of the flow, we can teach our muscles how to move efficiently. I recommend using this sequence as needed (daily for more pain or few times a week for less), holding each trigger point area for 30–60 seconds.

See alsoFascia: The Flexibility Factor You're Probably Missing on the Mat

12 Poses for the Fascia of Your Back Body

YOU WILL NEED Two tennis balls and a block to help target the deeper fascial tissues of the muscles on the back side of the body.

KEEP IN MIND These tissues hold lots of nerve endings. It’s important to recognize a good kind of pain like a dull toothache sensation and to back off if there is an acute injury, sharp pain, shooting pain or numbness. Staying relaxed is helpful while working through the points in this flow. You can soften the insertion areas by placing a blanket or towel between body and balls if needed.