The most amazing things start with living my passion. Yin Yoga with Trigger Point Release complements my lifestyle through many years of practicing, teaching, as well as 15 years of bodywork. When massaging my own trigger points it is the letting go of unnecessary tension and pain in the muscles that provides success.
In a TrP Yin Class the use of props like balls and rollers can stimulate a massage type motion. When the tissue has a trigger point (TrP), let’s just call it a knot, (see the picture below), the issue is it’s already held in a contracted state, and thereby can affect other tissues attached to it. The trouble happens when this knot is left untouched or simply not dealt with.
The image above is a neck muscle called SCM (sternocleidomastoid).
A shows no trigger point in this muscle fiber
B is a TrP or contracted tissue (a knot)
C is the tissue being overstretched leaving a weaker and less flexible muscle
Probing the muscles with props helps encourage the muscles to let go of what is creating tension, and this requires a mindful movement. This is A VERY SLOW passing over the tissue with a simple back and forth action in the direction of the fiber. What will happen is the stirring up and the release of toxins. Some of the waste material goes into the bloodstream, however, lactic acid and CO2 are sent to the lungs. This is why a conscious breath is so important.
Besides the massaging action there is a need to pause on top of the TrP for 10-30 seconds. Patience and that mindful breath will help bring greater awareness to actually feel the tissue change shape, like flattening out. It is NOW when the movement continues after the short pause that provides that ‘ironing out’ effect to achieve the final new shape being offered. This process of massaging the area being targeted in class should only take 3-5 minutes. Remember, and please, not to rub the tissue for too long. The goal is releasing what the body is ready for and this may take quite a few sessions. The goal is not to harm the body, and no bruising allowed! Ahmisa.
To go deep in yin yoga means to have conscious awareness of not only getting into and out of the postures, it is about what happens in the long holds that creates the actual juiciness everyone is talking about. This awareness needs to be just as great in the TrP Yin Release class. The ultimate goal is to hold this new ideal length the targeted tissue. Doing a 3-minute gentle stretch means bringing the specific stretch to a mild intensity. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the maximum stretch with no pain, it is proven that anything over a level of a 3 can harm the body. This once again is about going slow to not activate a stretch reflex, which is a muscle contraction in response to stretching. In a nutshell, take your time exploring your body for trigger points with the joy of massaging out your tissues.
The best part is that glow after the yoga is done… loving the body and how it feels when it is time to go home.