I just got back from ‘Spinefulness’ training at The Balance Center in Palo Alto, CA. It’s a practice of aligning our bones so that our bodies are in natural balance, working easefully with gravity and becoming pain free. I quickly learned how out of balance my internal structure and spine have become. Sadly, many of our modern spines have shifted away from healthy alignment and are out of balance.
Twenty-two years ago, I fractured L1 vertebra, and five months ago I had L5-S1 discectomy to clear out my ruptured disc. I’ve been practicing yoga for twenty-two years and am just now realizing that doing postures with imbalances in our internal skeleton can easily pull us more out of balance. These are subtle misalignments that make a big difference. I am in almost the same amount of pain I was in before my surgery. This is no fun and really needs to be looked into. Now I realize my yoga practice needs to shift from simply doing the poses in proper external alignment, to doing the poses with an internally balanced structure. This is what ‘Spinefulness’ is all about.
Spinefulness training teaches us how to restructure our spines back into a stack of bones in line with gravity. This is not an easy task, and no one else can do it for us. I am sad to realize that there is no quick fix and no short cut, my healing is in my own hands. I knew when I had the surgery that I needed to understand what was happening on a deeper level to avoid re-injury.
The good news is, as we grow more aware of the spine, we can avoid injury, find more ease, and healback pain. All of these lessons bring a new level of consciousness and deeper understanding of the body. I feel like it is a call to be more fully embodied, to really show up for life. I can so easily get very sad at the loss and changes that I need to make but then I remember it is this way for a reason. I need to stay open and trust that this is all for growth.
I’ve gone through life without paying much attention to my spine and how it moves. I had no idea the importance of it all. I can’t afford to be unconsciousness anymore. Pain is a big wake up call, a call to consciousness. I want to run from the pain, although I know it’s my guide and my teacher. It’s showing me the way to greater mindfulness and service. I am always learning a better way to show up and to support and help others who also might be in pain.
The more I search for the answers to back pain, the more I see it as a process, no one really knows – just like life. The more acceptance I have, the more peace.
I’m excited to share what I’m learning and how we can keep evolving and healing our spines together.