In the yogic tradition, the spine is considered to be the central axis out of which all things arise and back to which all things return. As an extension of this concept, the back side of the body represents the direction of the west. It symbolizes the setting sun and all things that have come before, in the past. The back of the body cannot be directly seen with our own eyes and yet it supports so much of our forward movement and what lies ahead. The western facing side of the body represents our deeply set, unconscious actions and habits. By awakening and releasing the backs of the legs and the posterior muscles of the spine, we begin to invite to the surface any past imprints, samskaras, that we want to let go of.
With the inhale, I encourage you to breathe into the areas that need space for possibility.
With the exhale, commit to releasing anything that arises that is no longer serving you.
This practice releases the hamstrings and the muscles that support the spine through deep split-leg forward bends and flexion. As counterpose to the deep inward reflection of folding forward, we explore vibrant backbends to enliven the spine and open the heart.