When we release the fascia, can we free the mind?


I’m finishing 2013 with a Tom Myers Webinar entitled Issues in the Tissues – Releasing Emotional Holdings through Movement and Body Repatterning.  During 5 years of consistent Yin Yoga practice, I have gained some perspective on beliefs I have long held about myself – often expressed in the stories I tell myself and others.  And I love stories!   So, it’s easy for me to get really caught up in them.  This was starkly illustrated for me in my first Yin Yoga teacher training with Paul Grilley.  Although I am a competitive athlete, I have a fairly profound scoliotic curve in my spine. And when I am not taking good care of my body, I can experience chronic pain. Doctors have often used discouraging language about my spine, expressing wonderment that I could be so athletic, advising caution, and generally predicting dire futures.  But I’m stubborn and hate being told no so  I would go back to yoga or martial arts or running, believing that in movement lay the therapy doctors could not seem to provide.  I thought I had pushed all that “doctor talk” aside until one morning when Paul began leading us into a series of yin backbends.  As I lay myself slowly back into Saddle Pose, I started to feel a great deal of fear.  Was this a good pose for me to be doing?  Could it hurt me?  Should I be more cautious and conservative?  Pretty soon, easing into this Yin pose, I had worked myself up into a frenzy!  Maybe I should not be doing back bends at all, EVER!  Paul was passing me near me so I gestured to him and began to pour out my whole story about scoliosis and doctors and my ‘damaged’ back and chronic pain.  And he listened for a bit and then looked at me very kindly and  said, “Are you in pain now?”  And that stopped my story-spinning mind in its tracks!  Presented with a direct question, I realised I was so caught up in my scoliosis story that I had no idea what I was actually feeling.  As I paused to consider this and tuned into what I was actually feeling, I realised I was not straining or in pain.  So, I said, “Well, no.”  And Paul gazed at me, smiled, and walked away.  That moment fundamentally changed my yoga practice and continues to influence how I teach movement.  So, I’m curious to hear what Myers has to say about how we pattern these stories deep in the tissues and how new ways of moving and breathing can help us re-pattern, allowing new information to penetrate the fog of old stories.