• Sabine Winkler


Have you ever heard of MyoYin? With this combined practice of Myofascial Release & Yin Yoga, you can relieve pain, reduce stress and improve your athletic performance. In this article, you will learn more about both Myofascial Release and Yin Yoga and how they work together to improve your overall system. At the end of this article, you will find a video and a free video yoga class for you! In this way, you can try out the advantages of this method right away and feel the changes you notice in your body and mind.

The combinative power of MyoYin

When we apply Myofascial Release and Yin Yoga together in the form of MyoYin - named after its creator and yoga teacher Jo Phee - we work with the fascia system in our body. This rehydrates connective tissue and, as a result, muscles and ligaments. This means that we promote the supply of fluids and the tissue remains supple, flexible and stable.

The powerful combination of Myofascial Release and Yin Yoga in the form of MyoYin is a comprehensive and effective method that not only relieves and eliminates pain but also increases mobility and flexibility from head to toe. You will increase your physical performance and develop a better inner and outer body awareness. MyoYin also improves your breathing, which helps to release physical and emotional stress as well as emotional blockages (which have manifested themselves in your body in the form of tension and pain).

Immediately noticeable effect

I can tell you from my own experience: once you have felt MyoYin and the deep release of fascia, there is no going back. Maybe you have even experienced it already... this change in your body and mind, a feeling of lightness, of letting go.

The wonderful thing about working with fascia is that you don't need to know too much about anatomy or physiology to notice and feel how it works in your body. This is what brings us back to the yoga mat in the end - the present moment with inner insight to let go of things like pain, tension, stress and much more. This creates space and brings you back to yourself and gives you radiant YINsights.

To understand MyoYin better, however, it is helpful to look at some important basics and get a little insight into what fascia is and how it wants to be moved.

What is fascia - background knowledge

Dr. Jean Claude Guimberteau mentioned in a lecture in London in 2019: "For several hundred years, anatomists and surgeons like him have neglected this tissue/system, as it seems to be non-existent". However, the fact is, according to him, that "it is not only something but that it is everything!

David Lesondak describes the fascia in his excellent book (Fascia- What it is and why it matters) as follows: "The most important thing to keep in mind is that the fascia network is a continuous structure throughout the body... To the body, the fascia is all one - a complex, holistic, self-regulating organ... So imagine a silver-white material that is both flexible and robust - a substance that surrounds and penetrates every muscle, coats every bone, covers every organ and encases every nerve. The fascia keeps everything separate and connected at the same time.

No wonder the fascia has such a great influence on our body, heart and mind, since it is everywhere and connected to everything. There are different opinions on how to categorize fascia. In terms of MyoYin, I will only distinguish between superficial and deep fascia.

Fascial training - 4 tips

Tom Meyers explains on his Anatomy Trains Youtube Channel 4 tips on how fascia can be trained to stay healthy and fit.

1. vectors - Varying the vectors of training (different load, different training units, different muscle groups).

2. jumping, swinging (elasticity) - fast, dynamic, athletic speed (Yang Yoga, trampoline, running, kettlebell ...)

3. lengthening - creating length through slow and long-lasting stretches (Yin Yoga, Taichi).

4. hydration - (S)MFR/rolling, movement.

In MyoYin we focus manly on 3. and 4. of the above-mentioned movements to keep the fascia healthy. Let us now look at the two components of MyoYin, starting with MFR.

What is Myofascial Release (MFR)?

Myofascial Release is made up of Myofascia = Myo (muscle fibre) + fascia (the fascia sheaths that wrap around the muscle fibres to form a muscle) and Release, the release of pain points and tension in the fascia and muscles.

Tiffany Cruikshank, founder of "Yoga Medicine", describes in her article (Connective Tissue Health & Myofascial Release) that the term myofascial release refers to any technique that works on the muscles and fascia. There are many different modalities. Myofascial release can be performed as manual therapy or as self-care. The most common technique for self-care with Myofascial Release, which we also use in MyoYin, is often referred to as SMFR (Self-Myofascial Release). This application usually involves the use of aids such as balls, blocks, towels or fascial rolls.

Important when using aids

1. roll/glide slowly and with light pressure over your tissue. Less is more - It doesn't have to hurt to work, on the contrary, because otherwise the muscle cannot relax and you might damage your tissue and cause inflammation.

2. work exclusively on intact tissue (no wounds, injuries, etc.)

3. stay away from bones, nerves or sensations that feel sharp, shoot or radiate

4. where the pain often lies is usually not the cause

What is Yin Yoga?

Yin Yoga is a relatively passive style of yoga in which the poses are held over a longer period of time, usually 2 to 5 minutes or even more. This allows your muscles to relax more and more over time. Through this relaxation, you will reach your deep connective tissue with the stimulation. This is where fascia, ligaments, tendons, bones and joints can be gently stressed.

What to consider when practising Yin Yoga:

1. do not go as deep into the pose as possible. Go only to the point where you can feel a mild amount of resistance. Avoid any stabbing pain or over-sensations that prevent you from relaxing.

2. tools such as yoga blocks, pillows or blankets can help you to find that interesting edge of intensity that allows you to hold the pose for a longer period of time. You can then stay there and notice how your body gradually softens on its own as much as it can.

3. how long you should stay in the pose depends on several factors. Always be aware that every body is different. Your health, the intention of your practice and your emotional state also play a role. Pay attention to your body and feel inside yourself what is good for your practice at the moment.

This is what a MyoYin practice can look like

Depending on your intentions, you either start with Yin Yoga or Myofascial Release or apply both techniques simultaneously. This combined practice allows you to have a lasting effect on your fascia, on the one hand by using different tools and on the other hand by pulling or compressing the tissue with Yin poses. Mindful breathing and a conscious focus on the area you are working on will help you to release adhesions, deep-rooted tensions and any trigger points (which often lead to constrictions and pain in the body).

Once you have changed the habitual pattern of fascia, you can start to influence the chronic tension in the tissue. The long-held poses in Yin Yoga give the muscle time to relax and let go. As this happens, we begin to work on deeper layers of the fascia. This can ultimately lead to physical and emotional healing. With the knowledge of fascia and the understanding that they form a holistic system, it is also important to understand that when we work, let go, relax and thereby hydrate and revitalise an area of the body and the fascia in the MyoYin practice, this leads to profound changes in the entire body and mind.

While research continues to explore these methods, the intuition and perception of our own body can safely and reliably point us in the right direction.

Completion, not replacement

MyoYin does not replace all other types of training. Your MyoYin practice complements the current yang and activity-focused world with a focus on muscle, cardiovascular and coordination training. In other words: MyoYin simply completes the whole picture of the power of Yin and Yang in harmony.

Want more?

Here is a 20-minute trial MyoYin session (in German language).

Follow on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration

The contents on this platform are for informational purposes in an editorial manner and therefore do not represent healing statements or promises of treatment success and the like.

Über die Autorin

Sabine Winkler is an international yoga teacher, holistic coach and trainer. She lives and teaches in Vienna and conducts workshops, teacher training and retreats worldwide. During her many years of travelling, she herself has completed over 3000 hours of training and further education in the styles of Sivananda Hatha, Yin Yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Iyengar. Sabine is also an assistant teacher of the renowned... more

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