By Bhagavati (Brindi) Blessing
Even before I started Svaroopa® yoga teacher training (YTT), I could have taken Radical Anatomy for Yogis, as it is open to anyone interested in yoga. It was an inadvertent omission to delay it until after my third week of Teacher Training. But even then it was fun and fascinating. And it has stood me in good stead for the months following my YTT 3 last year.
The demographics of our group ranged from longtime Svaroopis to those who had no experience of Svaroopa® yoga. Taking the course alongside newcomers was a revelation. I marveled at how they developed the understanding that “it all begins at the tailbone.” We teachers hear that in training. We say it in our classes. But Radical Anatomy for Yogis is a concentrated experience of functional anatomy. So I could see how our experiential learning is a unique, dynamic process. It takes place in the body. It bypasses the mind to change the mind.
Even a person trained in another yoga style made rapid changes in her mind set. As her body opened up, from tail to top, she began to enter poses differently. For example, at first in Vajrasana (Digestive Pose) she separated her knees widely. But soon she focused on getting her knees together to sit back on her heels. Even in Swamiji‘s chant and meditation sessions, this student could recognize her own tailbone opening.
I found that I’d experienced some Radical Anatomy components in earlier trainings, but it was still an enlightening experience. It brought all the pieces of my previous training together. It really highlighted how tailbone tightening affects all of us. Because of that, all of us have an S-curve in the spine. It even shows up in our faces. In the course, we physically experienced how conditions that typically plague us humans originate in a tight tailbone, which is the root cause of the tightening in the rest of the spine.
Personally, I marvel at how this knowing has supported my recovery from major abdominal surgery last December. The surgery was to remediate a condition that was affecting my deep spinal muscles, and the surgery itself “messed with” my deep spinal muscles. But the understanding I gained from Radical Anatomy, as well as several years of dedicated Svaroopa® yoga practice, has made all the difference. It has kept me devoted to Ujjayi Pranayama and Embodyment® Yoga Therapy. I believe that no other path for full recovery exists.
I used to think it was astounding that Svaroopa® yoga could heal my sciatica. Then it was the only manifestation I had of things being off at my tailbone and sacrum. I am now even more impressed with what the Svaroopa® practices offer — all starting with that little tiny piece of anatomy at the base of my spine.