Often, by the time we hit adulthood, we wind up imprisoned in our own bodies in one way or another, be it through an injury that never quite healed or through inefficient movement patterns that have become so ingrained that we have forgotten how to move differently.
Much of the work we do when creating active healing has to do with freeing ourselves from those patterns; not unlike unlocking a cage, or giving your hamster a ball, as opposed to just the fixed wheel to run in. Our body parts could be seen as an entire menagerie of caged animals, fixed in set movement patterns that have been dictated by outside forces and needs, that may only barely reference their original " free range".
Consider, for a moment, your spine.
This strong , versatile column; a living stack of 33 fluid and solid discs through which all information flows in your body. It is designed to move in flexion, extension, sideways, and in rotation, allowing graceful and powerful undulations of movement that assist our organs in their metabolic functions and allow us to fully experience the world around us. But instead, we lock this magnificent snake in to the " first world experience" cage with the head forward, the neck distended, a couple badly distributed curves beneath that, and rest this entire distorted structure on the weight of its tail, perhaps crushing the tip in one direction or another.
Even without this Iron Maiden, if we made that snake try to support itself upright upon its tail, it is more than likely that that dance to remain vertical would be exactly that - a dance. Constantly pulsing in little directions as it recalibrated what is center based on its position in space. Balance, of course being applied as a verb.
In the practice of Kundalini yoga, the Kundalini energy is described as a snake, coiled at the base of the spine. Through a dedicated practice of movement, breathwork and meditation, that energy can be released through the spine and travel up to the brain, where it is purported to give flashes of enlightenment.
Gyrotonic founder, Juliu Horvath, once described his movement system to me as a method he created in order to prepare the spine so that in case of Kundalini awakening, that energy would travel easily up and down the spine, as opposed to getting derailed by misalignments and exiting through a different area or energy center, which can be quite jarring to the nervous system.
Whether you abscribe to these more esoteric views of body movement, orprefer to stick to basic anatomy and the laws of physics, we can agree that having a spine that is able to freely move in space is a good thing, and will most likely enhance your overall energy while reducing stress.
Where movement is limited in the body, it is usually accompanied by limited awareness of that area. Tactile sensation is one way to increase movement awareness which may result in greater range of motion and control.
So we will apply this approach to free the tail.
Get yourself a ball - about volleyball size. Ideally not overly firm, but take what you can get. If you like a pillow under your head when you are lying down, use one as you go through this sequence I have put together to free up the motion at the base of your spine. Notice afterwards just how far that sensation of energetic freedom and awareness travels up your body.
You may be pleasantly surprised.
And the rest will follow.
Caged Man - Lakhanbaba's web blog
Bad Posture X-Ray - multiple sources
Snake Dancing - Annette Mossbacher