Aligned and Awake Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 6

Lower Back Relief

45 min - Practice


Nathan guides us in an integrated practice that builds heat and opening in the body for deep back-bending postures. We move through variations of Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations), warrior postures, inversions, and balancing postures. You will recognize the stillness within.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket (3), Block (2)

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Welcome back to practice four. We'll be focusing today on some backbends and this will be sort of a cousin to the previous backbend work that we were doing earlier this season. We're going to start out developing a lot of heat in the body but first let's do a little centering awareness. We'll start by stretching down through the legs and bringing a little life to the pose. Lift up through the spine, open the chest, we'll bring the palms together and the length of the thumbs against the sternum. Take a moment to close your eyes and draw the attention inside. We're looking to draw that attention and awareness down into the spaciousness of the chest, settling out and away from the thinking mind. Just noticing that quietness there. From that quiet stillness. Welcome again to class. Let's start with sun salutation A. A few modified sun salutation A. We'll stretch up the arms, big breath in, soft knees exhale and forward fold. Stepping back the right leg and lower the knee to the floor. We'll do a kneeling twist. A few breaths and we'll step it back, lower the knees to the floor and then lower the hips and chest to the floor. Point the toes, we'll do a little baby cobra, settle back down and into dog pose. So we'll take just a few extra breaths in this first round to get the body used to the movement. Right foot forward, left knee down, kneeling twist. A few breaths and we'll bring the hand down, feet together, soft knees, forward fold. Relax the back and we'll come all the way up. Arms overhead, exhale hands to your sides. We'll begin again. Arms up, exhale forward fold. Again knees bent or if you're feeling like straight legs please you can take that. Right leg back, lower the knee down and once again we'll come into the twist but add the catch of the back foot. So we push down with the right arm and we get that nice turn of the chest and we're gently drawing the right foot toward the buttocks. This is going to help us is where our focus is working with the low back, working with the hips and we'll release, step back, knees to the ground, exhale and settle the hips and chest to the floor. Inhale, again a little baby cobra, exhale back to down dog. Just a couple breaths here. And we'll step forward, right foot, left knee down to the floor. We'll start in the kneeling twist, nice open chest, reach back and we'll clasp. Here we're turning the chest, gently drawing the left foot a little closer to the hips and then release. Feet forward and together, soft knee, forward fold. With an inhale all the way up to standing arms overhead and release your hands down. One more of this modified sun salutation arms up, inhale, let's go with straight legs, exhale. Again we'll step back, right leg first and lower the knee to the ground. This time we'll go for a clasp behind the back. Rolling the shoulders back, settle the tailbone down toward the floor and then we'll lean in. Coming out, step back, legs back, lower the knees down, chest and hips down. Here's our baby cobra, inhale and to down dog. A few nice long breaths, right foot forward, lower the back knee down.

We'll come up in class and if you can remember which way you clasp the hands before, try to clasp the other hand, the hands the other way this time. Shoulders back and then sending the hips downward and forward. A few breaths and release, feet forward and together, straight leg forward fold. Inhale, come all the way up, arms overhead and release the arms down. We'll add a traditional sun salutation B, surya namaskar B. Inhale, squat down, arms up. Exhale, forward fold, straightening the legs. Inhale, look forward and you can step or jump your way back into chaturanga dandasana. Upward facing dog, this time thighs and knees off the ground. Downward dog, let's take a breath or two and then right foot forward between the hands, roll the left heel down to the mat. This is warrior one and then hands to the floor. Stepping back, chaturanga again, nice strong lifting legs like we've been practicing through the season. And inhale, up dog, now dog exhale. A few breaths. Now left foot forward, right heel rolls down to your mat and warrior one and then hands again to the floor. Chaturanga, nice strong legs, lifting core, up dog, down dog. Again, just a few breaths. We won't stay too long. Inhale, raise the heels, soften the knees a little ready and launch position. You can jump or step to your hands. Forward fold, exhale. Inhale, squat down, arms up. And exhale, we're standing in tadasana. One more and we'll be nice and warm. Inhale, squat down, arms up. Exhale, forward fold. Inhale to lengthen. Exhale, find your way to chaturanga. Up dog, breathe in. Down dog, breathe out. Right foot forward, left heel down, warrior pose. Chaturanga. Inhale, up dog. Feel that heat building. Down dog, we're breathing out. Left foot, warrior pose. Exhale your way, chaturanga. Up dog, breathing in. Down dog, breathing out. We'll take a few extra breaths here. Is our recovery pose. And then heels up, soft knees ready, jump or step to your hands. Exhale, forward fold. Inhale, squatting down, arms up. Exhale, come all the way out. And we'll spend just a few breaths in tadasana for recovery. You can feel that heat moving in the body and we'll need that as we do the back bends.

Let's next start in a wide leg position and work on some of the deeper guidance that we're going to be using for this session here. We're going to start by taking the sacrum and tailbone down, down towards the floor. So if you like you can take the two thumbs and touch the sacrum and gently tell it to reach down. Now this is different from a butt tuck. It's more of just a sense of lengthening, elongating there. Just for one moment I'll show here this way. I just take the thumbs and lightly draw that area down. Just give it that little tactile feeling. And we'll keep that sacrum and tailbone down, holding there and you'll find that there's a little external rotation that accompanies that. We'll keep that stationary and then raising the arms up. So we're trying to make an integrated connection here. The sacrum and tailbone down while we raise the arms up. Then bring the arms down, relax for just a moment and we'll do it again. Step out the legs. You can use those thumbs again just to coach a little bit. Sacrum and tailbone down and notice what happens in the front of your body when the sacrum and tail goes down. You're looking for an uplifting feeling in the front. The sacrum and tailbone goes out. You can see my front pulls downward. We don't want that for back bends. Sacrum and tailbone down, front up and again. Make a connection from your heels to your hands. That uplifting feeling. From here we'll take the arms out, keeping that sacrum and tailbone down feeling. We'll take warrior two. So enter slowly so you can feel your body hold on to these adjustments so you get the most out of your poses. We'll complete the pose by looking over the right hand. Come out, turn the feet in, rest your arms, reset, arms out. Holding that sacrum and tailbone down, we'll turn left side. Exhale and we'll bend in. And I go slow so I feel I've keep that sacrum and tailbone settled down, front of the body lifting.

We'll be using that sacrum and tailbone action throughout the back bends. So we want to be familiar. Then come on out. Let's do a little extra. Hands in, big breath in, jump. Legs together. We'll go for warrior one. Inhale your fingertips, we'll jump wide. Stretch the arms up. We're turning to the right side fully for warrior one. And once again, sacrum and tailbone down as we slowly enter into warrior one. Take your time. Feel into your body. Sacrum and tailbone down. And let's hold. Few breaths. And coming out. Rest your arms. Second side, arms out. Turn the palms. So that's an integrated action all the way from the sacrum and tailbone. Then I take the arms, right toes in, left leg out. And keeping that sacrum and tailbone down. This would be out. There's sacrum and tailbone down. And we come in. Holding. Awareness. Feeling into your body. And come to center. Let's jump together. Tadasana. Feet a little separated. Reach up, grab the arms. This is a resting pose. Forward bend. Change the interlock of the arms. Soft abdomen, soft back, soft neck. Then bend the knees, place hands on the legs. Lift the chest a little and we'll come all the way up. Now for warrior three. We'll start with the legs together. We'll get our jump. Exhale the jump. We'll turn to the right side first. And we'll take this with airplane wings, palms facing backward. Come about 45 degrees forward. And once again, teach that sacrum and tailbone action. You'll feel your lumbar get longer. Whereas sacrum and tailbone out makes the lumbar grip and shorten. Sacrum and tailbone down.

Palms up. And slowly work your way onto the right leg holding the action that we're talking about in the tailbone. And slowly, slowly, slowly we come up. I'm steadying right in the pelvis like we've been working. That helps keep the ribs from flaring forward toward the floor. And touchdown. Come out. Let's do the second side. Here once again, I'll tip forward. I practice that feeling of lengthening the lumbar, sacrum and tailbone. I'll keep the palms facing backward and upward toward the ceiling. And here we go. Feel the weight on the left leg. Elevator up. And we're into the pose. This is my challenge side on the left leg. Holding the sacrum and tailbone action. Come down to center. And we'll walk the feet together. And we'll try this one more time with fully lengthened arms. Let's just step wide. Turn you to right side. Tilt forward. Start with the sacrum and tailbone. So we lock in the stability in the core. And we'll start by bringing the arms straight forward and cross thumb on thumb. Be aware of how you're holding right in the pelvis, sacrum and tailbone down. And with all the weight on the right leg, we come up. If you'd like to stay with a bent right leg, you can. Or you can challenge the full straightening of the leg, but keep the action that we've been talking about. Come down. Do the other side. Warrior three. Challenging pose. Sacrum and tailbone. Fingers. And if you can remember which way you cross the thumbs, always good to challenge both directions. Holding the sacrum and tailbone. So the lumbar is long. Here we go. Breathing. Feeling. Come down. And let's take a forward fold rest. Feet separated. This time, soft knees. Catch the arms. Hang down. Change the interlock of the arms. Soft back. Soft abdomen. Soft neck. Then hands on knees. Lift the chest. And feet together. Our next pose will be natarajasana. Dancers pose. Definitely a challenging pose, but we're nice and warm and ready for this. We'll be taking this in stages. First, to grab the left leg. And we'll do this in just sort of a classic quad stretch position. Our first round. Just to feel that sacrum and tailbone going down. Two, you feel the lumbar being longer, taller when you do that. And three, you feel the front of the body is being drawn up. It's a circular action. It's not three distinct things. So let's see if we can feel that. And now the work in the pose, I'm gonna draw my thigh and knee back. Left thigh and knee back as I hold the action in the pelvis. Square the two sides of the chest straight ahead. That's a big part of this pose so we don't over twist the spine when we go deeper. We'll let that go and practice on the second side. Right leg up, capture the ankle, the foot. And before we do anything deep, let's get our pelvic action. Sacrum and tailbone down. Makes the lumbar long. Front of the body goes up. And then holding those actions, gently starting to draw the right thigh bone and knee bone back. And I square the two sides of the pelvis. That's the pelvis, the chest, sorry. And then release. First side and let's take it a little bit deeper. Left leg up. Let's just go through it a little bit more quickly. Pelvis, front of the body up. We'll take the right arm up. Then keeping the work, we'll draw the left leg back just a little bit. And today we'll just start entering the pose a little bit. Let's call it halfway. But working on a few things. My chest, I need to square. So we'll practice these things while we're still not too deep in the pose and we can become much more proficient. And then release. And second side. Catch the right foot. Sacrum and tailbone work. Front of the body up. Left arm up. And then coming forward. So if we can get these actions into the body before we're way too deep, we can get so much more out of the poses. Our awareness grows. Maybe a little further and coming out. From here we'll fold forward, resting the body again. And our full resting pose will be dog pose. The body is warm. We're ready to take it a little deeper. And then rest the knees on the floor. We'll take just a moment here. A couple of options. As we practiced in season one, the two or three block headstand at the wall is a beautiful pose to do here because of the openness it gives to the chest. So I encourage you to work with that. Or if you're ready to try it with me, we can start going further into a full headstand. We've practiced a few preps in previous practices. Any of those are workable stages right now and will benefit you for the next poses we'll do. But we are going to give it a shot for full headstand if you're ready. We'll start by placing the forearms and elbows shoulder-width apart. And I'll bring the crown of the head down in the finger lock. I'll stretch one leg up and then two legs up. In this pose, the legs above are really brought into the pose by way of our seventh cervical vertebrae. We want to use the shoulder blades to draw that forward so that the legs respond by drawing back. We're not going to stay too long. This is just a little bit to help mobilize the chest, power up the arms, and of course get the benefit of the inversion. The way that the blood flow is changed with blood pressure running towards the head, it calms everything down. To come down, stay sturdy in the shoulders. You can either bend both knees or take one leg down at a time. Staying nice and strong in the neck and shoulders, undo the legs and come down. Child's pose, rest.

And then we'll shift our pose, tummy down so we can work a little further into the backbends. So this is just a very mini tutorial of how to use the sacrum and tailbone action from here. So we're going to take little easy baby steps. I'll have you bring your forearms down so the hands are clearly in view and we're going to push as though I was pushing my arms out this way, but we're going to stick ourselves to the mat so in effect the body goes that way. Let's try this. We're not going to try to come up into cobra. We're going to keep the body relatively level to the floor and push back. And my goal here, if you can see it, is as I push my body backward towards my toes, my pelvis starts to turn sacrum and tailbone, remember, down towards the feet. So let's try that a few times and get familiar. And then let that go and I want you to try something different which is to just grip the buttocks together and it's a completely different experience where the buttocks they almost it's like they thread together towards the center line and that's not the stability we're looking for. Let's go again, pressing the body backward toward the toes. You feel the tailbone and sacrum roll toward the heels. It's a much different feeling and then we're going to capture that with the deeper muscles behind the pelvis. It's not the superficial gluteus maximus. We'll hold that and then let go. So there's always that debate do you squeeze the glutes and back bends. This is my attempt to help you understand a little bit more how to make this work and help the lower back rather than grip the glute max which kind of pinches the lower back. Let's start now seeing if we can take a little bit further hands out parallel for the beginning of cobra pose, bhujangasana. So we'll press the body toward the toes. We feel that rolling of the pelvis and then we'll gently start to hold musculally and this takes practice. It could take several practices to really get the feeling I'm talking about and then holding the pelvis in place I'm going to roll up from the pelvis first, bhujangasana and then come back down. So if you think of the pelvis as the lowest vertebrae of the spine it's a nice way to think of that is where we're going to be bending from not the lower back so much as the focus. Once again we'll push the body back toward the toes, sacrum and tailbone being anchored with the deeper buttock muscles and then press feeling the work of the deep muscles and you could feel if you wanted to try it what it's like to squeeze the glutes here to much different feeling than what I'm aiming at. You'll feel overly compacted especially in the lumbar and then we'll come down. From here we're going to come into a very different pose. This is a version of half lotus and it seems like a little bit like we're coming into pigeon but we'll start with the knee across slightly angled and I'm going to roll by opening the knee and roll down. So if you happen to need a blanket for a little extra support underneath there if it's not comfortable on the foot please you can take that. Here we're going to work the same action I'm going to use my arms to push a little toward the toes and finding the same deep hip work and then release body toward the toes, deep hip work and release one more time. Holding and then we can add cobra and then come down and we'll release two hands and knees. Second side right foot I'm going to open the knee out to the side there we go open the knee out to the side and then roll down. Notice the pinky toe is off the floor so it's just like half lotus pose. We'll do a push and tuck push sacrum and tailbone toward the toes holding with a deep buttock muscles here's our third one push hold and then a little cobra and coming down and we'll come out of the pose. If that pose doesn't work for you for your hips for any reason you might try instead a version known as tree pose, tummy down. From here lying down once again we're going to take a look at a pose we saw earlier in the season, bhikasana, frog pose. We'll start by bending the left leg grab from inside out and we'll work with a little bit of pumping to get the elbow to go vertical we practice this quite a bit so we're going to go right into the pose. Sacrum and tailbone down like we've been working pump the foot and make the turn. We're up squaring the chest and release. Second side grabbing from inside to the outside a few times we'll pump and get familiar with that lifting of the elbow that's the critical part to get the lock. Sacrum and tailbone down like we've been working get the foot and make the turn and then I roll the chest to complete the pose and unlock and release. This time we'll take the hands a little further back let's say just in front of the chest for one more time bhujangasana. Sacrum and tailbone down and we're gonna come up keep that sacrum and tailbone coming down check that you're not fully gripping the outer glutes the gluteus maximus. This time let's try a little lift of the head and rest. Take a little pause on your arms relax and press the hands and knees and I'm gonna suggest grabbing two blocks for this version of camel pose a little different entry than you might be used to. You could you could you use your heels if you like but I find with little elevation of the hands the entry into the pose is a lot easier to find so I'm gonna start with my hands on the blocks fingers pointing straight forward I begin by opening the chest and then bringing the attention to the pelvic area been working through this whole practice push down through the hands sacrum and tailbone rolling to the backs of the knees and come up and come down move the blocks a little bit forward chest and once again so I'm bringing that sacrum and tailbone down toward the backs of the knees and forward and come down and let's do one more you can move the blocks a little bit further in or if you feel like you don't need them you don't need them and pressing the arms into the blocks lift your chest come on up and while you're up here if you feel like transferring to the feet we can complete the pose camel pose sacrum and tailbone down tailbone moving forward front of the body lifting and opening and slowly out I return to the blocks and take a rest let's put the blocks off to the side lie down on the back for the last backbend we've been practicing supported bridge throughout our previous practices now is our time to shine without the supports I'll use the hand hold on the mat and then lift up and make the adjustment of the shoulders lean and tuck a shoulder lean and tuck a shoulder pressing down through the feet sacrum and tailbone toward the backs of the knees and I open the front of the hip sockets all of this is the same action throughout these poses that we're learning in front of the body long bridge pose as you press down through your heels it's as though we're trying to press the knees and thighs back into their sockets which helps us get the height in the body arms pressing the floor and then come down undo the shoulders we'll take a little pause we'll do two more and add a leg lift for this once again hips come up lengthening the lumbar shoulder tuck and we'll bring the feet a little closer to midline keeping the pelvis level we'll challenge it here we go right leg into the chest chest stays high and leg up go for the ceiling reach reach reach and then come down we'll do the second side raising up chest open you want to draw that knee way into the chest that's what helps lift you all the way up and reach this pose takes time to really really develop the strength in the hip muscles in the back muscles and to stay open in the chest be patient with yourself come down and we've made it we did our backbends let your body just relax on the floor for a minute let gravity have the lumbar relaxing the muscles around there with your breath take a few moments hmm need a time we'll start by bringing the knees into the chest it's always good to go slow with your counter posing and let the muscles unwind you can see I'm doing a little pumping here with the knees in but I'm not going for it all at once we want the body to slowly let go of any tension in the muscles that may have come in practice let's do an easy twist to the side we'll start with the arms out to the sides right side first again here relaxing letting go we're not working for any goal other than relaxation and letting the twist help unwind all of those lumbar and spinal muscles and come back in and second sign so a note for backbends they're challenging poses and if you're in the poses and you're feeling discomfort first thing of course back out of the pose a little bit or pause or you could even skip a pose for a little while but the key is to recognize that discomfort is trying to talk to us it's our body's language I call it the language of defense one more time knees into the chest so we need to listen to that language and then start to learn how to make the adjustments in the poses whether it be props or any changes in the body we'll turn to the side and come up let's take cross legs easy fold forward let the buttock bones settle down toward the floor so we get a nice lengthening in the lumbar if you like to fold your arms maybe fist on fist so you can rest your forehead if that depth is not available to you you could use a block up a little bit higher but something so that you're resting we'll come out and just do an easy shift over one leg gently turning the spine open to that side I'll do an easy shift to the other side and gently turning the spine open to that side that helps to lengthen the spinal muscles a little bit away from the spine if there's any tension there welcome up our next pose we're going to take is Marichyasana flip around so you can see we'll start with legs extended and I do love this pose it's a wonderful counter pose for back bendings if you have the flexibility available taking the leg across can be a wonderful addition for counter posing we'll take the right hand around the left leg left hand behind and we'll do our twist some subtlety instructions as you know I want to do in these poses if you can feel the buttock bones touching the floor it's as though you pinch them together and as you pinch them together it starts to drive a nice twist through the spine we're not trying to go for max twisting or anything like that but just so we get that nice twist throughout the whole spine and then release unwind we'll do the second side crossing over if that flexibility is available to you and second side left hand capturing the right leg I roll into the twist and then I'll do that buttock bone pinch it's as though I can draw them closer together narrowing the inner legs and that helps me turn and then release to center our next pose is both a counter pose and a lovely inversion Halasana with a few variations and as you've been learning we can use the blankets for support so we're safe on the neck one two and three use as many as you need or do any of the variations we've shown in previous practice sessions three blankets folded edge stacked and for me because I have a little longer torso I use a little extra boost we'll lie back set the shoulders just off that ledge and we're going up and over big breath in exhale and come over let's make a few adjustments separate the legs lean and tuck a shoulder lean and tuck a shoulder lean and tuck lean and tuck so you feel like your neck is well supported the pressure is not coming down on the neck in any way then from here we can bring the hands onto the back we push the arms into the floor and that gives us the support through the spine in this particular Halasana as a counter to back bends instead of a little bit more of we might call a rigid lift of the back we can let the buttocks curl over toward the heels and that gives a really nice lengthening for the lumbar spine readjust my shoulders and I'm in the pose with you once again I'm allowing the buttock bones to roll a little bit toward the heels to give that nice lengthening back anytime you don't feel comfortable in this pose you can relax out of the pose and just rest on the floor we're going to do a couple of variations from this pose single leg lift we'll keep the left leg down and challenging to lift the right leg up so we get again another lovely inversion and a counter pose to the back bending we've been doing we'll set that leg down and second leg up this should help feel like it's lifting you up out of the pose as opposed to compressing you further into the pose if your foot doesn't stay on the ground you could lift it up or if you got the blocks to prepare you could put the block below your toes before you enter into Halasana for next time we'll set the foot down just a few more breaths in Halasana plow pose stretch the arms overhead and let's come out nice easy roll down relax the head and neck as you come down and we made it let's just stay here for just a moment with the head relaxing back powerful practice today back bends lots of heat in the body some new things to feel and learn and all of that physical practice and awareness helps to build our ability to see inside our own world our mind even our emotions all kinds of wonderful things we can see from here let's wiggle a little further off the blankets until the shoulders mid-back come down relax let the arms out hmm all of this is just resting and waiting for the body to regulate its blood flow again and we'll turn to the side and do a little counter pose just a brief counter pose sitting cross legs nice tall spine can interlace the fingers go up and we're gonna look at the thumbs here I use a little bit of energy in the neck muscles to create the arc of the neck bring it down change the interlock of the palms and we'll come out and up this really isn't meant to be a back bend for anything in the mid spine or low back it's mostly just that counter pose for Halasana and bring it down and rest let's take our Shavasana we'll put the block away and take one folded blanket for the head and neck and the other two will put away okay let's set it up remember we want to lengthen the back down on the floor nice we'll adjust the blanket for the head and neck and just barely touching the shoulders take a moment to tuck your shoulder blades under just a little bit so you feel like they've got the support of the chest you can lengthen the buttocks like we've been practicing all class long so you feel your lumbar settling down toward the floor and then one leg at a time let's come out about halfway toes up and we'll put a little pressure on the heels to gently push the body in the direction of the head that's going to give a little roll of the pelvis this way so you feel even more softening softening softening so good and we'll slowly let the legs down down down down so I'm keeping that gentle pressure and sliding or skidding on the mat and made it let me take a little bit of time to unwind the legs let them soften slowly as you release the legs do the same for the shoulders the arms and as we've been working on withdrawing the energy from the periphery toward the center the arms and legs in yoga are known as the organs of action they are the doers in our body so the more that we can relax and calm and settle those areas down well through practice and shalasana that doing energy that constant motion begins to subside and our aim is to settle into that quiet stillness that is always present but often masked by the motion of the body and mind so it's not that you're creating stillness it's just that you're re-recognizing it and immersing yourself there let's rest in stillness together I invite you to stay in that stillness for as long as you like if you're ready to come out we'll rest one hand on the chest one hand on your tummy you might notice the tendency to jump right into mind and motion again can you stay in that stillness as we slowly bend one knee at a time it's just a recognition of that still space turning softly to the side rest your head on your blanket your arm then a slow press up into a sitting position if you like to use the blanket it's a little bit of a support and we can sit cross legs rest your hands on your thighs let your eyes close for just a moment and as you may begin to recognize through our practices that stillness is still present has always been present but maybe we just never noticed it before so glad we have a chance to do these practices together thank you so much I'm looking forward to seeing you in the next practice


Jenny S
1 person likes this.
Such a powerful practice! As usual, your gentle voice somehow makes even back bending at the crack of dawn plausible. Before I knew it it was time for one of your lovely nurturing savasanas. Iā€™m feeling grounded and ready to take on the day! šŸŒŸ
Nathan Briner
Ahhh! Backbends. Such a great way to start the day. Nice to hear from you Jenny.
Lisa M
1 person likes this.
Wonderful, once again. Thank you
Christel B
1 person likes this.
Loving the focus on lengthening and creating that solid sacrum position. Thanks for another wonderful session!
Janet L
1 person likes this.
Wonderful like all your classes! thank you
Kate M
1 person likes this.
Nice sequencing to Natarajasana! The cueing for dropping the sacrum down was helpful too. Question: I think you said that in the sphinx/cobra sequence, avoid clenching the gluteus maximus - okay - but did you say to engage deeper muscles? Which deeper muscles were you referring to?
Nathan Briner
Kate, glad you liked it! The glute max will contract but it is the glute med and hamstrings that we want to lead the way. If the glutes dominate the buttock contraction they will force the thighs into external rotation and it makes more difficult to move the sacrum properly. The glute med and hams leading the way lessens the external rotation action and gives greater awareness and access to the proper movement of the sacrum and tailbone-> toward the heels. This action helps to avoid excessive compression of the low back in the backbends. I hope this helps! Just ask if you need more clarity.
Lorrie B
Again, Nathan, thank you! Your excellent instruction helped me correct the pelvic tilt that I have (apparently) been doing wrong for years. What a difference it makes.... gratitude. 
Nathan Briner
Lorrie! šŸ™
Thank you for sharing your experience :)
Eric K
2 people like this.
Beautiful sequencing and such clear instructions. The whole glute-clarification (that may be the first time I've ever used that phrase) immediately changed the backbending experience. I appreciate the pace and presence as well.
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