The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

098: Many Layers of Fascia with Gil Hedley


How often have we said that we can’t do certain movements because of old age? What if that’s not a result of old age, but “fuzz” – a by-product of not enough movement in our bodies? Gil Hedley of The Fuzz Speech fame joins Shannon to bring the concepts of fascia, anatomy, movement and scar tissue to a whole new light.

Gil is a Rolfer, an author, and a strong proponent of encouraging somanauts to explore Inner Space a.k.a. the wonders of the human form. He became a Certified Rolfer at the Rolf Institute in Boulder, CO in the early ‘90s, and has also studied massage and tai chi. He has since developed an integral approach to the study of human anatomy, and published a number of books including The Integral Anatomy Series.

Our bodies receive a lot of flak for not being perfect or adhering to societal standards – Gil encourages us to approach our bodies from a place of appreciation and fascination instead. Whether it’s fat cells, scar tissue or any other perceived imperfection in our bodies, approaching it with appreciation is the key to understanding what’s going on inside our bodies.

Gil takes us through the three different layers of fascia, the key role of movement, massage, and grounding in our well-being, and why scar tissue is good and beneficial, in this incredibly enlightening episode. If you’ve ever wondered about the human form or movement or just need a push to appreciate your body more, this episode is sure to be an eye-opener.

Key Takeaways:

[5:06] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Gil Hedley.

[6:09] What started Gil’s journey into fascia and understanding the human body?

[6:47] What does the word “somanaut” mean?

[8:47] How does Gil wish people understood fascia?

[11:53] There’s nothing wrong with noticing differences, but it must be done with the heart to remain connected.

[13:53] Gil explains more about the superficial layer of fascia, not just thinking about it in the head space, but also integrating the heart space.

[17:47] How are intuition and superficial fascia related?

[23:06] Gil dives into the next level of fascia – the perifascia.

[29:36] What are some methods that can help reintroduce slipperiness between tissues?

[34:21] How does grounding help fascia?

[36:17] What is the third layer of fascia – deep fascia?

[38:09] What happens to fascia when there is an injury?

[40:30] What can be done to heal scar tissue and improve the fascia?

[43:58] What are some of Gil’s questions about fascia that remain unanswered?

[45:31] Shannon and Gil discuss the need to balance between movement and relaxation.

[49:15] What does massage offer the body that movement can’t?

[52:02] Our bodies tend to fall into certain limiting movements. How can you invite new movement into your life?

[55:39] Check out more of Gil’s videos and courses on his website.

[56:31] Shannon shares her key takeaways and would love for you to do the same.


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Quotes from this episode:

“A somanaut is someone who navigates the body, who sails the inner seas.”

“For movers, fascia is key. If you, I feel, have no conception of what’s going on inside your body, it’s a little trickier to embody what’s going on inside your body.”

“You’ve got one body, many textures, differential movement, without any separation.”

“I always invite people when they’re wanting to learn about the gift of the body, to start with a place of appreciation.”

“Our superficial fascia, we can approach it from a place of appreciation.”

“Scars are good. Scars are a blessing. Scars represent our healing function.”

“If you want to move differently, you have to move out differently.”