A few weeks ago I had the most amazing vision: I felt that I could actually see my spine in my mind!
It looked like one of the most beautiful structures I’ve ever seen, each vertebrae a separate piece of art, pearly white and smooth, like Michelangelo’s marble. It was covered in some clear translucent coating that glimmered with light.
I felt a profound physical and energetic aliveness originating from my spine, and more connected to it than ever.
Since having that image appear, I’ve really been playing with this idea of living in my spine, giving it attention and spending time with it.
It got me thinking about how amazing our spines are and what they’re actually made up of – tangibly and intangibly. We know they’re made up of bones, tendons, ligaments, fascia, muscles, joints, and nerves.
As the first thing that’s formed when we’re embryos, the spine is the basis of our entire inner architecture. As a key part of our central nervous system, it’s connected to every nerve and responds to every stimulus. It’s the source of all our energy.
In yoga, the sacrum is considered a sacred bone. As the anchor that connects our upper and lower halves, it’s seen as a highly spiritual, sensitive, strong place that truly roots us into the earth, while allowing us to grow upward and flourish.
What we can’t physically touch as humans – even the most advanced doctors – are the nadis and chakras found all along the spinal column. We can connect to them through movement and meditation though, and I encourage you to notice this area of your body and sense how your energy is flowing as you practice this week.
Beginning at the base of the spine we have the meridian pathways of ida and pingala nadi that crisscross over the entire length of the spine, meeting at points in the middle as they cross over each energy portal, or chakra. Sushumana nadi, the central channel of energy, is located here as well.
The ancient scriptures tell us the immortal nectar of amrita – which fuels our health and vitality – is found here.
Both Joseph Pilates and Vanda Scaravelli were on to something when they said, “You’re only as old as your spine is flexible.”
So, what does living from your spine really mean?
The first step is to simply shift your attention to your spine and be present with it.
LIving from your spine means a heightened sense of awareness and connection with it.
When’s the last time you really thought about the awesomeness of your spine and what it brings to your life every single day?
Not to mention, how it has the ability to move and bend in all kinds of crazy ways. The spine is so flexible that it has the potential to bend to form ⅔ of a circle.
Allow your focus to softly center around your spine as you practice your poses this week or sit in meditation. Notice how that sense of presence affects your breath and the energetic balance that naturally happens. You may feel more grounded, yet at the same time lighthearted.
It’s not just about physical balance in the body, it’s about mental and emotional balance as well. So notice your mind and your emotional body.
Moving through your asana practice (yoga poses) from this point of reference leads you to feel even more rooted, and adds a depth to the poses that goes beyond the physical plane of the body.
While sitting in meditation become aware of the back body and spine; let yourself breathe into your spine. We know that we can’t actually breathe into our spine anatomically, but we can breathe into our Astral Spine, also known as the energetic spine, where prana (life force) flows through, and where chakras are located. What does that feel like?
Take some time this week to live mindfully from your spine. Truly experience the profoundness and nature that resides there, and know that every action on or off the mat originates from this divine place.
Enjoy the energetic flow.