Donna Brooks: The Role of the Fascial Matrix in Fostering Resilience and Strength


The fascial matrix, a.k.a. the connective tissue of the body is a large part of who we are and how well our body functions.  A healthy connective tissue is a fluid, three-dimensional elastic and supple matrix, which gives our body natural flexibility, strength and absorption of strain patterns in our body.

When this fluid, three-dimensional matrix gets constricted, we find ourselves in a downward spiral of rigid movement responses. These in turn lead to greater susceptibility to movement strain and injuries and may eventually trap us in chronic pain patterns.

In this course, yoga and somatic movement therapist Donna Brooks will explore ways to release strain patterns in the fascial body. By freeing the fascia matrix, we can become more responsive to changes in our environment and recover more quickly and thoroughly from tension, injury and trauma.

It’s not enough to understand the fascia. We have to embody it. This course will be highly experiential to give you specific somatic and yoga based techniques to create the enhanced resilience that comes from a healthy matrix.

We will look at how fascia is a rich sensory network and what the means for the link between the fascia and the central nervous system. Four mechanoreceptors are particularly abundant in fascia: The Golgi tendon organs, Paccini and Ruffini corpuscles as well as interstitial receptors.

These mechanoreceptors respond to changes in movement, pressure and tone and alter our nervous system by lessening sympathetic response, raising vagal tone, bringing a quieter emotional tone to the hypothalamus, stimulate serotonin, increasing awareness (kinesthetic and interoceptive), and vasodilation, according to renowned fascia researcher Dr. Robert Schleip.

Physical stress, injury, and habits that are contrary to how our bodies are built to move often cause the fascial matrix to rigidify and become dry and brittle. Emotional stress and the inflammation that often accompanies it also can lay down tight collagen bundles and release neuropeptides that alter how we feel pain, diminish fluid flow and reduces our ability to sense what’s going on in the body. In this way, the self-regulation dynamics of the autonomic nervous system are intertwined with our fascia matrix.

In this course we will learn how to restore health and resilience to the fascial matrix.

You Will Learn How To:

  • Understand the seamless relationship between muscle fibers, fascia, tendons and bones.
  • Experience the naturalness of three dimensional, fluid, elastic movement.
  • Find how the rhythms of bone in the fascia tensegrity network effortlessly distribute stress through our own organism.
  • Experience the elasticity and fluid support of connective tissue “glide and slide for easier movement in daily function and asana.
  • Learn to understand the close connection between the mind and fascia and how our mental states affect the health of the fascia as well.
  • Learn how to recover from nervous system stress through connective tissues based movements and awareness.
  • Make lasting postural changes through engaging the Connective tissue matrix.
  • Have an understanding of the Fascia matrix that helps you create greater resilience and power in all your fitness endeavors.
  • Have a clear understanding of the superficial fascia under the skin, the deeper fascia that forms “sleeves” for our muscle and also permeates our muscle (Endomysium, Perimysium and Epimysium), the visceral fascia around our organs, the meningeal fascia of the nerves and brain, tendons, ligaments and the outer layer of our bones (periosteum).

This Course also Includes:

  • Yoga practice video: Enjoy a yoga practice video that Donna has designed specifically for this course.
  • Recordings of All Webinar Sessions: It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get access to the recordings of all webinar sessions – both MP3 (downloadable) and MP4 (streaming online), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of All Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the webinar sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.
This course qualifies for 3 CEs with Yoga Alliance.

Related courses

Donna Brooks is an ISMETA registered somatic movement educator and therapist & a certified Yoga therapist. She designs & teaches yoga-based therapeutic programs for diverse populations, especially baby boomers & the aging.

$97/ Lifetime Access

I wanted to expand on my thank you. Yoga U Online has been an absolute lifesaver for me. I moved from a yoga mecca to a yoga desert. Instead of having my choice of teachers and styles and special workshops, I now have to travel an hour to take a class. The excellent teachers and interesting topics at Yoga U Online have kept me moving ahead in my practice. I am grateful for all the wonderful yoga you bring to me. Thank you.
My students will appreciate all the gems I've picked up from your teachers.Thank you so much!
Beth O.
Your website is a blessing to guide me deeper into my personal practice and my teaching practice.