I AM fascinated and curious, intrigued and grateful for all the ways the existence around me is responding to my intention of living more fully in my body, my heart and my mind in this Embodiment year. Recently I have been really exploring and connecting with, even meditating on my back body. Anusara yogis often speak of the “back body” as the dwelling place of grace; the unseen, underfed, and underappreciated side of the body. With the invitation of the Divine Feminine being so strong in this NOW, pivoting consciousness on our planet back to the heart, to compassion, kindness, trusting instinct and following intuition ~ I feel my relationship with my back body is another opportunity to nurture, even nourish myself in new and profound ways.
In class this week, we were standing in Mountain Pose and instructed to bring our hands behind us in reverse prayer (Pashchima Namaskarasana) and in doing so, to press our back into our hands, feeling the strength and power of the spine. This was revelatory to me, not only recognizing how little awareness we bring to the back body – but also feeling how strong, like a fortress, my back and spine were. We worked with the idea of puffing our back body up to make it feel full, all the way from the back of our head down to our tailbone – moving the breath into the back body as we normally do the belly and the front of the chest.
Try this. Sit in a chair with a back, to create a boundary for your back body. Then breathe. What can you observe and feel about your relationship to your back body? Can you find the spot – or spots – of collapse or breathlessness in your spine, perhaps behind your kidneys, behind your waistline or in your lower back and then consciously draw prana into them? Feel them fill against the resistance of the chair and notice, does that make you feel calmer? Less hurried? Are you leaning forward to read this or sitting back to receive? Do you lean forward most of the time? The back side of the body takes on a lot of tension from our postural habits, stress and natural tendency to move mostly in the sagittal plane (forward, specifically). With awareness and intention, the back body will connect you to a flow of breath and movement that is equally powerful and ungovernable, yet fluid and filled with grace. When I am breathing into my back body – I feel strong and fierce like a river flowing.
Bringing conscious awareness to the back body actually allows me to open my heart more, I feel the Silver Cord that Kundalini Yoga refers to as the psychic channel between the base of the spine and the throat chakra. Maybe this is why I am appreciating the back body so much in this now, it expands the heart while elongating the spine ~ creating more room to receive the abundant gifts available in the greater fields of light. Embodiment ~ fine tuning the ways we live in our bodies and in the world around us.