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How serendipitous that just last week I was looking for the latest edition of Fascia: In Sport and Movement. This nicely bound compilation of articles, edited by Robert Schliep, PhD— noted fascia researcher from Ulm University in Germany— offers tremendous insight from many perspectives on the significance of the body tissue that had once been summarily cut away and discarded by anatomists and physicians. I wanted to add this text to my library and was hoping to find a good price on the latest edition from amazon.com. Rats!— sold out. So I visited Schliep’s website. Bingo! As well, I discovered his Fascia in Movement & Sport seminar was being hosted by Michelle Bond of Fascia Fundamentals right here in Los Angeles. Rather than buying the book right then I enrolled in the workshop. And what a fascia-nating workshop it was.

Dr. Robert Schliep leading the Fascia in Movement & Sport seminar, February 9 & 10, 2019.

Schliep detailed:

  • Biotensegrity
  • Fascia as a sensory organ
  • Elastic recoil properties and conditioning of fascial tissues in jumping, running and walking
  • How “Rolfing” for rats prevented receptive stress injury and “Yin yoga” (a long hold posture) for rats reduced cancerous tumor proliferation by 52%
  • Embryology of fascia (Michelle Bond)

What’s more, I had the great fortune of personally asking Robert Schliep (far too many) questions, sharing ideas with some of the six-dozen physicians, physical therapists, body workers and fitness trainers in attendance, doing several fascial-oriented exercises with the class and meeting Michelle Bond— a local, up and coming a-fascia-nado, herself. We all received the Fascial Fitness (companion) DVD, the slide presentation from the seminar, a thumb drive with additional fascia-related research articles and sources for continuing inquiry.

I bought the book, too. At a discount. And, signed by Dr. Schliep.

At Its Deepest

Even on this most Yin day of the year— the Winter Solstice— Yang is present. And as depicted by the Taoist symbol where a white dot resides within the black paisley, and conversely a black within the white, neither is an absolute. Not unlike the idea of Zero Point Energy, where molecular vibration persists even in the vacuum of empty space— that shade at a temperature of absolute zero— Yang stirs at its nadir, within the extreme Yin.

On a Tangible Level

Yin and Yang are relative, complementary, continuously changing and only meaningful when an observer is there to appreciate the contrast.

Consider if you will dipping your hands into one of three buckets of water, each of differing temperature. At once you put the left into cold, 40°F water, the right into hot, 120°F water and note the sensations. Then, place both into tepid, 80°F water and observe. What’s your experience?

Clearly none of these experiences is static. Even as the first immersion feels cold to the left hand and hot to the right, the left hand is already warming the water while the right is cooling it. This dynamic is shown by the swirling image of the Tao. Of course, once submerged in the tepid water the experience is immediately reversed.

Taoist symbol

The Taoist symbol elegantly depicts the relative nature and the inherent movement of Yin & Yang. A duality for sure, but not simply black & white.

 

Tonight

I couldn’t have asked Nature to illustrate this any more literally than through tonight’s full moon punctuating the darkness of the year’s longest night. This Yin yoga class is in tribute.

Here’s the series—

  • Seiza— kneeling, shins on floor, sitting on heels: 5′
  • Supported Back Extension— lying supine, block beneath sacrum: 10′
  • Caterpillar— seated forward fold over outstretched legs: 10′
  • Sphinx— prone backbend using elbows for support: 5′
  • Seal— prone backbend using hands for support: 5′
  • Gambling— deep squat: 10′
  • Cat Tail Right— lying side twist with top arm reaching back to grasp bottom foot: 5′
  • Cat Tail Left— lying side twist with top arm reaching back to grasp bottom foot: 5′
  • Saddle— kneeling, supine back bend: 10′
  • Pentacle— lying supine, palms up, tip of index finger resting on thumbnail: 8′
  • Seiza— kneeling, shins on floor, sitting on heels: 2′

Here’s the soundtrack—

Tibetan Monks Chanting with Every 3 Minutes a Tibetan Bowl | Reiki Hands of Light

Here’s the meditation—

Returning. Continue.
In coming and going, there is neither sickness nor distress.
Companions come without fault.
Returning is its Tao.
In seven, returning comes.
Gain by having a place to go.

— King Wen

Hexagram 24

Hexagram 24— Returning (Fu).

Hexagram 24 “Returning” is associated with the Winter Solstice & the 11th moon. Earth trigram atop Thunder trigram; a Yang sliver of light patiently awaits rising from beneath a Yin mountain of darkness. A submerged dragon.

Tonight’s Yin yoga class at the Yoga NoHo Center is celebrating the 11th Moon— the Winter Moon— which is near the darkest (shortest) day of the year, the Winter Solstice. It is very Yin. Can you say even longer, long-hold postures? Yeah, I thought you could.

Trigram: Earth

This trigram consisting of three broken lines represents Earth (kun or k’un) and is considered Yin, dark & cold. It’s the symbol of the female principle in the ancient Chinese tradition.

Here’s the series—

  • Seiza— shins on floor, sitting on heels: 5′
  • Caterpillar— seated forward fold over outstretched legs: 10′
  • Gambling— deep squat: 10′
  • Square R— seated forward fold over crossed legs, right in front: 10′
  • Square L— seated forward fold over crossed legs, left in front: 10′
  • Twisted Root R— lying side twist with right arm outstretched on diagonal: 5′
  • Twisted Root L— lying side twist with left arm outstretched on diagonal: 5′
  • Saddle— kneeling back bend: 10′
  • Pentacle— lying supine, palms up, tip of index finger resting on thumbnail: 8′
  • Seiza— shins on floor, sitting on heels: 2′

Here’s the soundtrack—

Tibetan Flute Music + Om Chanting | Meditative Mind

Here’s a meditation on the Winter Moon—

Bamboo Grove
Sit alone, hidden in bamboo.
Pluck the qin and whoop with joy.
Forest so deep no one knows it:
the bright moon comes to shine on me.

— Wang Wei (699-759)

What better way to celebrate gratitude than with my loved one, TC, the warmth from a fireplace blaze and the traditional Thanksgiving California Yellowtail dinner?

Thanksgiving dinner.

Now that’s fresh! California Yellowtail that was swimming on Tuesday!

Last week, right before joining my Friday Night Yin… Yoga for Athletes class, one of the two Yoga NoHo Center owners said, “Hey, your class received a nice review on Class Pass.” I said, “Very happy to hear that,” and went about leading the 75′ long-hold, deep stretch workout, as usual.

Then, following a rain-soaked motorcycle ride home, a quick bachelor’s feast of canned tuna, pasta & salad, and the requisite close-of-day check of text, email & voice messages, curiosity got the better of me.

I searched Class Pass for the Yoga Noho Center in North Hollywood, clicked on “Reviews” and one recent comment for Yin Yoga (Deep Stretch) with Christopher popped right up:

This is one of, if not the best, yin classes in the valley

Wow!

Whoever you are, I’m very happy to hear that you’re enjoying my classes! Thank you for your participation and your review. Maybe see you in this evening’s Monday Night Yin…

Namaste.