Yoga for Myofascial Release – Keys to Easing Tension and Enhancing Mind-Body Balance

Chrys Kub is founder of FitYogaTherapy and a longterm presenter at YogaUOnline. She has pioneered ground-breaking techniques for integrating myofascial release to make help yoga practitioners overcome muscular imbalances and make faster progress.

In this interview, she talks about her work with yoga therapy in her P.T. practice, as well as in her work with YogaUOnline. You can experience Chrys’ work in our new online course with Tom Myers and Dr. Robert Schleip on Yoga, Fascia and Healthy Aging: Focus on Myofasical Release.

YogaUOnline: Chrys, you’ve been a physical therapist for about 30 years. What made you interested in yoga?

Chrys Kub: Well, I started practicing yoga about 20 years ago, and I was particularly struck by the way that yoga complemented therapeutic practices. The more I learned about yoga, the more I realized it was not only about the physical practice but it also affected the whole person in a holistic way, not only your body, but your thoughts, emotions and even deeper than that. As I learned more about yoga, I began to apply it in my physical therapy practice with some pretty amazing results. It gave me a way to help clients in whole new ways.

YogaUOnline: You also integrate myofascial release in your work?

Chrys Kub: Yes, myofascial release is a great complement to yoga. It really helps people with structural imbalances or muscle tension—which most adults have—to make faster progress in yoga and create more opening in their bodies.

The fascia system is such a powerful system. It’s involved in any communication that happens in the body and with our energy system. By affecting the myofascial system, you’re affecting all levels of the body, not just the physical body. Myofascial release helps the body distribute information more easily, ridding us of the blocks in energy. For many people this helps release pain and dysfunction on all levels, be it mentally, emotionally and physically.

YogaUOnline:Who are the kind of people who can benefit from integrating myofascial release techniques with yoga?

Chrys Kub: Well, pretty much everybody! Most people have structural imbalances or postural dysfunction from either their work or life experience. People who are active in sports, for example, often create muscular imbalances through their activity. But even just sitting working at your desk often create postural and muscle imbalances. And, previous emotional trauma in one’s life gets lodged in the body as permanent tension patterns as well.

These kind of structural imbalances show up as fascial restrictions. People with these kind of deep-seated tension patterns will have difficulty getting to a place where they can break through those patterns without adjusting the restrictions in the fascial system.

A lot of those people come to me and they say, “Well, I’ve tried PT. I’ve tried the chiropractor. I’ve tried yoga. I’ve tried stretching. I still have this trigger point. I still have this stiffness or this pain in my low back.” Once we add the myofascial work, it makes a big difference. It really helps to complete the treatment. It’s not one thing that ever works with anyone. It’s just finding the right combination of techniques to help each person.

YogaUOnline: How is yoga for myofascial release different than “just” a regular yoga practice?

Chrys Kub: Well, there are many different elements to it. We start the practice with movement with the breath to warm up the body. Integrating the breath is a very important part of getting the body prepared to release. Then we move in to more dynamic supportive postures where you are engaging your muscles in such a way that you’re preparing the body to let go and to be able to open up to a new possibility. Intermittently through that, we use visualizations and relaxation techniques, as well as props to help facilitate myofascial release. Another important component is learning how to call on your own bodily intuition to allow you to move into your areas of least restriction. Combining all those things together, you come up with a nice practice to help incorporate that myofascial component.

YogaUOnline: Is this something people will be able to use in their practice later on

Chrys Kub: Absolutely. The idea is to create a practice that someone could do every day or several times a week themselves. But it also gives yoga teachers some very powerful tools to work with for their students, particularly those with muscular restrictions and imbalances.

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