-‘Bring back the butt’ –says Jean Couch
It’s a spinal revolution! With so many of us experiencing back pain, it’s a big wake up call for us to make some changes. As my teacher Jean Couch says, “bring back the butt!”
I just got back from another awesome ‘Spinefulness’ training (also known as ‘Aplomb’) with the wonderful Jean Couch and Jenn Sherer at The Balance Center in Palo Alto, California. Wow, mind blowing spine research, study, and healing is being done! This is the most amazing, deep, authentic back health work I have encountered in my 23-year search for freedom from back pain! I love these women and respect their commitment to this work and am so grateful to be learning from them. It’s not a quick fix, it’s an awareness practice that puts healing back into our own hands.
We are looking to restore our primal posture, when our bones we’re in balance, when our behinds were behind us, as opposed to under us. Since the 20’s, the pelvis has shifted off center, and is often tucked, creating a flat, droopy bottom. This leaves our vertebra nowhere to rest. Gravity and friction take a heavy toll. Where we put our butt determines the shape of our spine, which nowadays has become C-shaped. This has big consequences, but it doesn’t have to be this way! We can get more upright and friction-free as we age. Jean Couch is a perfect example of this, as she seems to be aging in reverse. It starts with the tilt of the pelvis.
As I begin to really look at my own spine and how much healing it needs to be brought back into balance, it is easy for me to get overwhelmed. The thing is, the more I look, the more I see. Ignorance is no longer bliss. Many of us might not even realize how out of balance we are until we have severe pain. Most of us have musculoskeletal imbalances that need healing in our modern culture. It’s a process, just like emotional healing. It’s never ‘done’, and we’re never perfect. We are all works in progress and it’s brave to start the process.
Yoga is a celebration of movement and breath. For me, it is poetry in motion, it is a connection to spirit, and it is beautiful. But, yoga isn’t going to heal deep imbalances, and when done with skeletal misalignments, it can cause further injury. Yoga might help temporarily ease symptoms of spinal misalignment, but deeper work needs to be done to truly heal and live in balance. The first step is healing the foundation before we take on these challenging poses that can further pull us out of alignment.
I am continually reminded to practicing yoga mindfully, and with much care. I am a beginner again and again and again, with much to learn.
Give ourselves a little bit of bootie and the healing can begin!