Let’s get back on track with our re-introduction to the splendid spine, shall we? If you missed the first installment, check it out here. I’ve received a lot of great feedback about this series: especially regarding the anatomical overview. You see, if you’re like me you don’t bother to get to know your body’s mechanics until something breaks and you’re forced to figure it out in order to get out of pain. So, hopefully this will help us all get a clearer picture of how our spines are designed to function optimally, and the measures we can take to not only avoid breaking our backs but to keep them in tip-top shape.
Every now and then I mention something about shtula and sukshma: specifically, that yoga is all about moving from the shtula (the gross or surface level of things) to the sukshma (the subtle layers below the surface). In the beginning, especially for us in the Western world, yoga is very much about the outward appearance of different postures. We try to make our bodies match the shapes of demonstrated ideal postures, and either revel or cringe at what we find in doing so. Then, as we become more familiar with the postures, we start to pay closer attention to how they feel from the inside.