Panto season may be over, but it can be helpful to be reminded of what is behind us, what we cannot see. In classes this week, we use our sense of touch to become more familiar with our lower back: alignment, tension, symmetry, space. We can feel the muscles each side of the lower (and mid) back, and whether their tone feels the same or different; then guide fingers from the upper rims of the pelvis behind and downward, toward the spine to find the sacrum. We can also feel our bellies as we engage and release Uddiyana Bandha, whilst we use our inner eye to feel what changes in the lower back and pelvis as we do this. The sacrum connects spine and pelvis. As we explore asanas which tilt the pelvis forward, back, to the sides, we can again roam with our inner eye to notice where we feel muscles contract, which ones are stretched, and how small shifts in the pelvis within a pose change this. Notice too how a shift in our intention e.g. to make the sacrum feel broad and spacious causes our bodies to engage differently. As we learn to feel what is happening with our bodies, our in-sight develops and we are free to roam and explore.
Ruth teaches yoga in Cheltenham UK, weaving yoga philosophy into the asana practice to help students connect yoga on the mat to their lives off the mat.