The Sacred Sacrum: A sequence for sacral ease and stability.
The sacrum is the key bone of the pelvis and forms the foundation of the spine. Postural balance and centering occurs at the sacral level in the svadhisthana or second chakra and the sacrum initiates the strong centering movement of the tailbone, which is mulabandha.
In hatha yoga the center of the body is the pelvic floor, mula or root, where all movement is initiated from. The sacrum and the tailbone form part of the structure of the pelvic floor along with the sitting bones and pubic bone. When we focus on this area in asana practice, pranayama, or meditation we are drawn into our own center of gravity which dispels distraction. The sacrum forms the base of the spine and moves in accordance with it's surrounding structures: the lumbar spine, both ilium bones, and the tailbone. If the sacral area is tight or too mobile it can cause pain in the back, butt, or hips, including sciatica. The nerves of the spine flow out into the sacrum and form one large nerve, the sciatic nerve which runs down the back of the leg. The movement of walking is essential for sacral dynamics and historically people walked for hunting and gathering, as well as pilgrimage. Thus sacral movement is linked to survival and spirituality. The opening movements of our sequence were practiced lying on the back (to release the force of gravity on the sacrum) and mimicked walking.
ASANA SEQUENCE for the sacrum:
Supta Gomukhasana- release outer hips and widen sacrum.
Seated Sukhasana with a forward bend.
High lunge: samasthitihi in the sacrum; draw the outer hip of the front leg back and into the midline.
Adho Mukha Svanasana- place a block between the upper inner thighs to release the sacrum.
Tadasana- heads of thigh bones back. Lift toes and inner arches of feet.
Trikonasana- Turn sacrum on it's side, align left side over right. Bend and straighten the front knee to release sacral nerves.
Parvottanasana- heads of thigh bones back, draw outer hip of front leg back and in to the midline.
Prasarita padottanasana- alternately bend and straighten the legs to open and release the sacrum.
Parivrtta trikonasana with a stable sacrum
Ardha Chandrasana- stand on the inside of the front leg to strengthen and stabilize sacrum
Virabhadrasana I- back heel to block turn back ilia forward to widen sacrum.
Virabhadrasana III- draw standing leg outer hip in.
Supta Danda with a strap over heels.
Ustrasana prep- partner work. Use a strap to draw the ASIS toward one another, widening the sacrum.
Urdvha Mukha block to inner ankles- feel mula bandha from the inner arches of the feet.
Janu Sirsasana- one of the best poses to release the SI joint.
Baddha Konasana- partner pushes sacral base into body (nutation).
Dandasana squeeze block between inner thighs.
Upavista Konasana- nutate the sacrum
Supta Baddha Konasana with block to low belly to invite breath into center of gravity.