Free Your Front Body: 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 muscle- and fascia-freeing flow to tune up the whole front line of your body.

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

The front side of the body takes on a lot of stress holding us upright every day and accommodating our less-than-optimal postural habits in daily life. As a result it ends up tight and/or weak from top to bottom.

With stress and anxiety, we may not even realize how much tension and clenching we do in the jaw, for example. Releasing this area can help alleviate stress in other areas of the head and neck, as well as the rest of the body as a whole. Slouching, driving, and texting also tend to make us over-round our upper backs, which leaves the pectoral muscles tight and challenging to open. Sitting, standing, and walking keeps the hip flexors constantly working, creating tightness in this area that can affect the health of our hips and spine. Together, the psoas major, which starts at the lumbar spine, and the iliacus, which begins at the front of the hip, create the hip flexor that attaches at the upper leg. This very important muscle works hard as the only muscle connecting the upper and lower halves of our bodies. Another taxed area on the front side of our bodies is the quadriceps, one of which crosses the hip. These muscles quickly get tight holding us up all day and are tricky to release.

By focusing on releasing the fascia, this flow will tackle these common areas of tension one area at a time, then retrain the muscles to lengthen, strengthen and fire more efficiently. Since the tissues are all connected via the fascial system, working on any part of this front line of muscles will affect the rest of the chain. Not only can this flow reduce pain and increase range of motion, but with a consistent practice we can teach our muscles how to move more efficiently. Post-myofascial release, we will test our range of motion to see the instant results of the work. I recommend using this sequence as needed (daily for more limitation or few times a week for less), holding each trigger point area for 30–60 seconds.

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

12 Poses for the Fascia of Your Front Body

YOU WILL NEED Two tennis balls, two blocks and a towel to help target the deeper fascial tissues of the muscles on the front 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.