Thursday, June 09, 2005

S-I, Bye-Bye

A couple nights ago, I was lying in bed, flat on my back getting ready to go to sleep. But my back was killing me.

I should be more specific. It wasn't low back pain. It was sacro-iliac (S-I) pain. I know. I've had it before.

Here's what I did. I took a belt and cinched it around the middle of my thighs, halfway between my knees and hips. Right before I finished tightening the belt, I turned each of my thighs inward, so the flesh on the fronts of my thighs moved toward the mid-line of my body.

My thigh bones were literally rotating in my hip sockets. With my thighs rolled in, I comfortably buckled the belt and then with my hands slid my buttocks flesh in the direction of my feet.

Then I lay there and waited as my body settled down and the pain went away. Sweet relief.

After a short time, I took the belt off and went to sleep feeling good.

Next time you're lying down for that glorious final relaxation pose (savasana) and your low back isn't feeling glorious, you can try this. Hint: don't tighten the belt too much or you'll be miserable.

Why does it work?

When I roll the fronts of my thighs toward each other, the the flesh on the backs of my thighs moves apart. And I can feel the back of my pelvis broaden.

When the back of my pelvis broadens, I create space in the joint between the sacrum and the two ilium bones in my pelvis. The articulations between the sacrum and the ilia are the sacro-iliac joints. Sometimes they get misaligned and don't move freely.

When I roll my thighs in, I feel more space in the S-I, AND I have more room for tucking my tailbone.

In this front view of the pelvis you can see where the sacrum and the ilium join. Posted by Hello

Just in case it's not obvious, when I roll my front thighs out, I narrow the back of my pelvis, I feel less space in my S-I joint, and it's harder to tuck my tailbone. In fact it feels like my tailbone is riding up my back. I feel compression in the vertebrae of my low back.

I didn't make up this great combination of thighs rolling in followed by tail-bone tucking. They are simplified examples of two of Anusara Yoga's Five Universal Principles of Alignment.

The second principle is "Inner Sprial." Among other things it includes rotating the thighs inward. The third principle is "Outer Sprial." Among other things it includes reaching the tip of the tailbone forward.

The balanced application of these two principles produces harmony.

And it feels good, too.

You can, and should, apply these principles in all poses. And you don't have to wait until your S-I is killing you in savasana. You can practice it today.

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., Savasana and mrtasana are synonyms. They both mean 'corpse pose.' But savasana is the most widely used name for the pose. When it comes to learning the Sanskrit names of yoga poses you're going to have to sort out some vocabulary words that seem similar. I call them 'problem pairs.' Savasana and svanasana are two that my students confuse all the time. We'll explore these problem pairs and others at the Experience Sanskrit Workshop coming up in just a couple weeks (June 25) at the St. Louis YogaSource. Click to register.

p.p.s., There are other ways to address S-I pain and S-I misalignment this little tip is not the be-all end-all. In fact, none of what I've said here is intended for diagnosis or treatment. You should get those from your licensed medical professional.

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved, Mo Yoga LLC.


Post a Comment

<< Home