We're trying something new out here at Studio Patricia: Blog posts that will let you know what we've been learning, and what you can expect to see in your classes with us! To kick us off, I have something to share with you from last month, when I joined the Merrithew's UK Symposium and took part in the Fascial Foundation Movement course.
At the Fascial Foundation Movement course, we learned many different techniques that help stimulate the fascia.
We learned that there are different movements and qualities that can stimulate the Fascia lines – for instance bouncing, spirals, expanding movements.
But before we get any further, what is fascia? You can imagine fascia like your body's internal cat suit! Fascia is connective tissue that surrounds every system and organ of your body. In other words, if fascia was an organ and you had to give it a name, that name would be "the organ of form".
Fascia possesses its own energy; it moves with us. If you've been taking classes at Studio Patricia, you have probably already heard the idea that it’s important to move the body in an intelligent way. Fascia is important for this: healthy connective tissue promotes healthy motion.
Personally, I really like to use the Pilates roller during my Pilates mat and reformer classes. I always enjoy seeing the reaction of my clients the first time I let them lay down on a Pilates roller. When they lie down on the floor after using it for 3-5 minutes, I love to see their faces so calm and relaxed. Their expressions tell me that my clients are thinking, "WOW!...My body feels so relaxed! Melted! Broad!" This is also the moment when I tell them that that feeling is coming from your FASCIA!
Many of the Pilates exercises we perform during a class have a focus on fascia.
Even if your teacher is not mentioning it explicitly, you are training your fascia because 1) you are moving your body in many different patterns, 2) you are aware of your breath, and 3) you move with a constant flow and pace with low resistance. Doing Pilates exercises in this manner, with a fascial focus, is one of the best ways to improve movement patterns, get stronger, allow your body to recover faster, and remain fit.
So, be prepared to give extra attention to your fascia in the coming weeks at Studio Patricia! This could be just by rolling a ball under your foot (sensing the fascia), laying down on the floor to stretch (expanding the fascia) or bouncing with a soft Pilates ball (activating your fascia lines).
See you in class!