YOGA Intelligence – Exploring the Spine
Posted by Amy Seal, 21-Nov-2022
Tracy Hewson explores the spine and its relationship to yoga and the breath…
“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”– Lao Tzu
This opening quote speaks to me in volumes about the relationship between the body and the mind. Without a positive and well-watered mind, the body starts to cease functioning to its best ability. As we water the mind with optimism and solutions, success is in reach. This then filters into the body and allows us to be strong and healthy. Yoga and the breath, I believe, is the bridge to get there. The spine is our support structure and without it we would not be able to stand, sit or kneel. There are many intricacies to each of our vertebrae: One of support for the next layer, the discs in between to support that structure and the spinal processes at the posterior of each for the vertebrae all have their own function. The lateral wings of each vertebrae have holes or foramina to support the entire central nervous system. When we start to look at the connection to the central nervous system and what that feeds to in the body, this is where it gets interesting….
The interconnectedness of the entire body is the best machine I have ever come across and because of this interconnection with bones, central nervous system and the chakras, this, I feel, has a deep connection to the teaching of yoga and the breath. As the emotional body plays an integral role in breath work, so too the spine and each of the spinal vertebrae play an integral role in supporting the body. The link is that each of the cells in our body has a memory and this memory carries energy and so when the spine is in misalignment, the feeling or emotional body comes into play.
Each of our vertebrae has an intelligence – for example, Thoracic vertebrae number 9 aligns with the heart chakra and the intelligence for this vertebrae is ‘Know that your love is your energy force. When you know you are love, you understand that love is your power.’ A new thought pattern we can bring to mind that aligns with this area of the spine is ‘I claim my own power. I lovingly create my own reality.’
The mind, body and breath are intimately aligned in a mysterious connection that influences every part of our lives. Learning to move through your yoga practice with mindfulness and breath awareness are valuable tools in helping you restore and enhance your life. The invitation is to understand the core belief at any area of the spine where tightness or tension presents and then bring a new thought pattern into the mind’s awareness, through the breath. This may be helpful as a positive affirmation to carry forward into life and open up to changing old thought patterns or beliefs.
‘Thought is creative’, simply means, what you think about expands, and what you think about you get more of. When you change your mind to a positive choice, you change your life. As I have delved more into the power of using the breath, it has added another layer to my awareness as to how powerful the mind is and without a positive change in mind, the body has less chance to heal. So what’s the thought behind it? Why not simply catch the thought that may be keeping you limited. Choose to change the thought to something positive and then the body becomes free. The body is not weighed down with that limiting thought any longer. This makes space in the body for the new to enter. A new thought pattern, a new belief, a new and positive affirmation is now able to be absorbed into the cellular level.
Through my exploration of the spine I have learnt that every vertebrae has a positive concept to keep it healthy and every organ in our body has its own positive concept. Each chakra has a different learning experience and governs different areas of the body. By using the breath to breathe out the energy behind the emotions that keep us limited, we can empty out the negative and create space for positive ways, healing limitations, fears and thoughts of guilt and suffering so we can enjoy life. I am drawn to continue to explore the spinal column and all its intricacies as it is the core of the skeletal system and everything stems from there. Just like the breath, it is like the string that links all the pearls together.
Tracy Hewson is an IYTA member, Yoga teacher, Breathwork Practitioner and group facilitator. She has also worked as a radiographer. She says: “I absolutely love teaching yoga with a therapeutic approach and I am enjoying interweaving the metaphysics of breathwork through all of my practices.” To find out about Tracy’s Yoga Intelligence Masterclass – The Spine visit www.yogacircle.net