When low back trouble, digestion or elimination problems persist it can often be the case that creating healthful and supportive changes requires a deeper, more nuanced approach.This allows us to better target the areas that are at the root of our difficulties. This can be especially the case when symptomatic approaches have failed to give lasting resolution to our problems.
This simple and subtle Yoga Therapy practice may serve to release deep physical and mental blocks and tensions that can restrict proper physiologic movement within the digestive and eliminations systems and enhance deeper musculoskeltal functions to support more comfortable low back and pelvic movement. Often this can result in our moving and feeling better overall and support recovery and healing of back pain, digestive issues and more. Click here for more on the benefits of Yogic breathing practices(Pranayama).
Most Yogic breathing emphasizes to upward moving energy(vayu) in the body called prana to energize fuel asana(posture and meditative practices. This breath technique stimulates downward moving vayu called apana that promote healthy digestion, elimination and reproductive function through the corresponding physical organs. Basically it is the reverse of the usual 3 part Yogic breathing techniques taught in Yoga class. When we work with breath and energy very often force is counter productive. Be easy and patient and enjoy the results.
This was adapted from a technique taught at a Yoga Therapy training over 20 years ago by renowned Yoga therapist Mukdanada Tom Stiles.
This Yoga breath and imagery exercise is offered for educational purposes. It doers not treat any disease or replace responsible medical assessments and treatment. Please read the disclaimer. before working with this or any other practice or technique.
To begin he invites the student to:
1.) Lie down on their back with knees bent and feet flat for comfort.
2.)Breathing through the nose, slowly and without force feel the breath move and expand the chest, upper rib-cage and upper spine, exhale and release easily and completely. Continue in each stage until the breath is fluid and easy. Don’t force the breath.
3.)As you are ready to allow the breath further down into the base of the ribs, middle spine, solar plexus and upper belly, exhale and release the breath slowly and easily upward from the upper belly, through the rib cage and out completely.
3.)As you feel open and ready inhale the breath through the first two phases into the lower belly, through the low back and intestines and out the floor of the pelvis. As the movement meets the belly and below there will be resistance to the breath itself continuing downward and outward. At this point it will be the sense and “image” of breath rather than the physical breath moving in this way Create this inner sense of the release and opening of the body and breath downward and outward. Allow a sense of the pelvic floor opening outward at the end of the inhale.
4.)The exhale begins with the pelvic floor drawing upward again, the belly ribs and upper chest drawing inward toward the back to release the breath completely. Continue through the layers of holding and tension that may be there until you feel complete, 3-5 minutes or so should do it.
As always, if the exercise makes you teary eyed, anxious or uncomfortable, please discontinue it.
With patience and over a few breaths the area below the belly and into the low back will respond to the subtle invitation to open and relax. At this point back and belly muscles release, added blood and energy flow can stimulate the essential processes of digestion and elimination.