In Yoga, it was one of few places, you hear talk about the “back body.” Yesterday at Yoga, I became quite fixated on that topic. How could I soothe and heal my back body? What does back body want and what does it know?
We do mention people talking behind our backs and we talk of people with eyes in the back of their heads. Also a very high percent of adults have back problems, so maybe it would be good if we all spent more time reflecting on the back and on making it stronger.
Apparently, as a culture, we are in agreement that we gain a lot of our overall strength from our back and our legs which are rooted in the earth. Saying someone has “a lot of backbone” is an indication that they are strong and courageous. But why have our backs become so weak these days?
Computers and screens, as much as I love them, play an important part in this weakening of the back and spine. We sit hunched over for hours on end. Just sitting all day to do our work is a part of the problem. We are built to be active and physically engaged. Yesterday, in Restorative Yoga, we did the opposite of this hunched over sitting posture so in vogue today. We develop, especially when it is cold, a hunched posture that tenses up the back muscles. In class, we leaned back, stretching out the back, repeatedly. We also stretched out into a soft back-bend using the bolster and blankets. Our practice was built around feeding and mending back body. It felt very opening.
I know as someone with a highly developed sense of intuition that I can literally feel what is going on behind my back. Sometimes, particularly after scrubbing the floors, my back tweaks and aches in an excruciating fashion. We’ve heard a lot of talk lately about the sensitivity and intelligence of the belly but the back is equally important.
I am going forward, into the full Worm/Crow/Seed Moon tomorrow (March 16th) drawing on the wisdom of my back body. I invite you to tune into your back, spine and back body. Just being aware of it, what is feels, how it feels, what it tells you, is the first step. This is a time of the month that we are open and receptive. This is also a time for making, doing and changing. Listen and let your back body speak.