Urdva Hastasana Saves the Day
Delightful, today, to feel the upward rise, like the reach of a candle flame, so deep in my center. I was practicing Urdva Hastasana, or “Upward arms pose.” Tadasana, with arms raised high, heads of the humerus (upper arm bones), outer heads of the femurs, or greater trochanters (top of the thigh bones) and center heels all stacked tall in a line atop the earth’s center of gravity.
The simultaneous rising up of my perineum, the inner heads of the humerus, and the base of my skull created this profound feeling of inner body length – an integrated from of Uddiyana. In this pose, the arms lifted feeds the extension bias to the spine, and this often challenges the length of the kidney area, around the junction of T12, and L1, where the thoracic spine meets the lumber spine. The perineum, that apex of strength at the center of the pelvic floor, which gathers in the core of the figure 8 shaped bands of muscles around the front and back openings, made of connective tissue to which the bands of muscle anchor, can lift here to create the internal physiological and energetic support to lengthen the kidney area. As the kidney area lengthens, the lowest lumbar vertebra actually draw in deeper, while T1, at the base of the neck, also releases in, freeing the neck to lengthen as the inner armpits deepen into the back body.
This is just one example of how pelvic floor strength can support the total integrity and alignment in an asana. However the real gift of this experience of alignment was the profound feeling of freedom and pleasure in the body… and through this pleasure, a new reference created for what is possible.
The body will choose comfort, even when comfort simply means familiar and is degenerative. As I practice, I give my body a chance to experience new reference points for what is comfortable, for what is “home.” This experience of the triplicity lifting length in Urvda Hastasana while my heels anchored deep gave me a renewed sense of where my body can live. And as an encouraging sidenote, this release of the inner body through organization and pelvic floor power has given relief from pain. Today I was moving slow, due to being on the first day of my period, and feeling crampy and low energy. By unloading the visceral body though this work, however, my belly now feels spacious and relaxed; the cramping sensation have disappeared, miraculously.