Sacral Yoga

Sacral yoga is a physical and spiritual method of self-understanding and well-being.

The sacrality is the essence of the method. Our spiritual and sacred (sacral) center is the heart. The center of physical body is the spine and its most important organizer is the sacrum (sacral) bone.

Through these two centers we connect to the source of life physically and spiritually via different practices. When the connection is alive it’s maintained and strengthened with the same practices.

The Sacral Yoga is a synthesis of different traditions which have their roots in the silence of the mind and a deep presence. In order to understand the wisdom of any spiritual tradition, we need to have the same kind of presence.

Most spiritual traditions emphasize that the spiritual knowledge is transmitted directly from an individual to another, from a nerveous system to another instead of intellectual explanations. Our first experiences of life are physical connection to another and feeling of the presence of the other. When we get back to this original peacefulness, everything changes. We are filled with deep joy of existence.

The goal of Sacral Yoga is the freedom of the body and the spirit. The freedom to be fully oneself and live a life corresponding to the whispers of one’s own heart.

The Roots of Sacral Yoga

The Sacral Yoga is the synthesis of some principles of the Biodynamic Cranio-Sacral Therapy and the Ashtanga yoga practice completed by meditative dance. Biodynamic refers to the rhythms and movement (dynamic) of life (bio). Cranio refers to the skull (cranium), sacral to the sacrum bone. Between these two parts of the human body are located the spine and the central nervous system. Sacral also refers to sacrality, the sacredness in us and life. That’s the heart of yoga.

In Sacral Yoga method the awareness of cranio-sacral connection and the sacred texts of yoga generate together a spirituality where all life is respected. The biodynamic way means that you never practice against yourself or against what is natural. You look for the life’s guidance.

The research of the natural breath and surrendering to it is the first step. The neutral state emerges from this condition. The neutral state and the nonstressful way also outside the practice are important elements in my teaching.

The heart of the asana practice in Sacral Yoga is to awaken the awareness of the position of the spine and the sacrum bone. Then gradually to become conscious of their movement and to subtly control them. The asana practice is the foundation for the harmonization of different layers in us. The spiritual transformation gets incarnated little by little and that’s how the mind, the emotions and the body really become one.

The piety, the presence and the potency of life I have experienced in Cranio-Sacral sessions have been the reasons to give more space in my own teaching to be quiet, to listen, to see and to love instead of talking and doing and pretending.

In this therapeutic tradition one can find a lot in common with the yoga philosophy as a life attitude. Instead of seeing the problems, faults and imperfections, we look at what is well. We don’t push sickness away, but we don’t give it energy either. We look constantly towards the health. We don’t deny the existence of problems, but we can see them as part of a greater whole which is in balance. We don’t meet other people through their weaknesses, but their strength and beauty. We look for a connection to life which is always flowing and we go with the flow.

Three Mainstays

Yoga
Cranio-Sacral connection
Biodynamics

The Sacral Yoga is an evolutive method even if there are few fixed elements. The method serves as a tool that helps the practitioner to listen to life’s invisible manifestations. It’s a flexible system that supports life in different ways according to its expressions.

One of the basic ideas in Biodynamic Cranio-Sacral Therapy is that essential in us is fluid. Our central nervous system floats in the cerebrospinal fluid and this fluid is ”breathing”. The quality of the breath of this liquid influences many things in us. In this liquid resides our purest essence and the potential of healing. When we give time to ourselves to feel the rhythm of this breath in all our cells and beyond, we are connected to the Breath of Life in us, i.e. our Health.

Naturally, it’s not only about the liquid, but what does it carry. The founder of osteopathy, Andrew Taylor Still, said that the body, the soul and the spirit meet in the cerebrospinal fluid. We can connect to an endless dynamic stillness behind the flow. This connection can be called yoga, meditation or prayer.

[lvca_tabs style=”style4″ highlight_color=”#40e0d0″ mobile_width=”600″][lvca_tab tab_title=”Yoga”]The practice of yoga harmonizes the nervous system. The healthy system enables reaching higher levels of consciousness. Because everybody’s nervous system is different, the yoga practice is individual as well. It is individual in length, intensity and nature. In Sacral Yoga the individual always counts more than the practice.

The practice of asanas is done with harmony, beauty and fluidity. Otherwise the practice can become a competitive experience and thus develop tension and stress. If we practice with stress, the practice makes the body hard and the breathing anxious. If breathing is difficult in asana practice, the body is not ready. The body is not ready, because the nervous system is not ready.

The free breathing is one of the essential things in Sacral Yoga. If you ask people to control the breath in the beginning, you take away the possibility to connect with the natural breath. We need to breathe as our breathing goes. We can’t force it if we wish to discover it.

The biodynamic breathing is an experience of our limitlessness. The breathing should be natural, free, joyful, full and spacious. In Sacral Yoga you free your breathing first. Then you learn to move your body in synchronicity with the breath without retaining it at all. You learn how to bring strength, support and lightness to your body through your breath. Free breathing means that the breath works correctly, subtly and gives better health. Animals give a great example of that. Their breathing is always completely in harmony with what they do.

First you need to find the connection and the freedom with the breath. Then the breath connects you with the vital energy. Little by little you can start to guide it wisely. The breathing should never be difficult or create any anxious feeling, because that’s when we do against our system.

We consciously build ourselves with good ingredients. We work with awareness without forcing. We give space and we discover. We let life guide us to the best direction.
[/lvca_tab][lvca_tab tab_title=”Cranio-Sacral connection”]For the discovery of the Cranio-Sacral connection and its meaning to health we can thank the founder of cranial osteopathy, William Garner Sutherland. He discovered that the connection between the skull and the sacrum bone is a fluidic rhythmic movement inside of the dura mater. When this natural movement is restricted or stopped, when it gets disturbed, it has an influence on our feeling and our health on a large scale.

In Hatha Yoga the meaning of the asana practice has always been the maintenance of the health of the spine. If the spine is stiff or if it’s too weak, it’s clear that it has a lot of influence on our overall feeling. The spinal nerves located have influence on other parts of the body. In yoga we are interested in the same cranio-sacral connection than in cranio-sacral therapy.

With the physical yoga practice we optimize the functioning of the spine so that the spaces between the vertebrae give enough space but not too much. If the spine is stiff, you work with awareness to bring more soupleness. If it’s too souple, you need to bring more stability and tonicity around the vertebrae.

The spine is a mirror to our emotional life. We can’t usually be aware of these problems, because the connection has been cut with the part where the problem is centered. To create the connection again, we need time. What helps is the feeling of breathing in the tissues and cells. When the connection is there again, the spine is flexible and strong in a balanced way.

Usually if there are problems in the physical body, you don’t feel connection between some parts of the body. In the Sacral Yoga, you learn to become aware between the top of the head and the tailbone. This is how you get closer to the Mula bandha which is the subtle control of the nervous
system from the root.[/lvca_tab][lvca_tab tab_title=”Biodynamics”]Many people know Biodynamics from Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic agriculture. That is actually a great starting point in yoga too to open ourselves to the rhythms in the nature. That’s how also our own different rhythms, age phases and life situations get more light and we can listen and respect them and also see their specific value. The biodynamic way of seeing the world is respectful and holistic.

The invisible side in the biodynamic view is that our energy and the movement of life is conducted by a Higher Intelligence. Behind the biology, there is a force which has its own laws. We can connect to that force and its concrete manifestations.

As human beings we are making ourselves sometimes smaller by our intellect. We force things when they are not going in the flow and when nothing is supporting what we do. Biodynamic yoga, dance, walk or run means we understand ourselves in relation to a bigger picture. We are connected to other people in our heart. We are aware of what is behind us, on the sides, above us, even if our eyes can only see before us. Biodynamic way is zen way. It’s melting to the surroundings, being in harmony with them and giving something good from ourselves. Not being strictly inside one’s own frame and in one’s own thoughts.

The principles of the philosophy of Patanjali can sometimes isolate people from the real world, even if the Yoga Sutra see the individual as a part of the universe. The biodynamic way can complete the yogic view and allow us to feel ourselves connected to others and to the nature.

Even if we are a whole, we can discern different layers in us also in awareness. The biodynamic awareness can first rise in the body. In the practice and in life, we make research to find the best way to move the body or a part of the body. This means the movement has enough energy, but not too much. It’s fluid, if needed. It’s precise in timing, for instance in a jump. When one part of the body moves, everything else organizes itself accordingly. Where does the impulse to the movement come from? That’s one essential question you ask in Sacral Yoga. It’s possible to have an ”answer” when you are connected to the spirit of life that supports you.

What is biodynamic in thinking then? We need to allow our thought to manifest. When we are aware of the nature of our thoughts and when we realize there’s something that is not positive, we try to change our thought by our actions. Through the actions our thoughts will change naturally. We don’t have to forbid anything in us. We are interested in how to heal and how to improve our life.

When it comes to emotions, they also should be completely free. You can watch them with your awareness and follow them to understand why you have a certain negativity. When you take the negativity as a part of a bigger whole, it’s almost swallowed by all the positive things. Usually the negative emotions are the result of restricting some emotions we are not aware of, or we don’t want to feel. When they can’t get out, they remain in our body as tension. According to Patanjali’s philosophy, one should take the positive counterforce in parallel to the negative feeling. That’s how our awareness can lead us to the best direction. The emotion that was stuck, is released.

The biodynamic way of interacting with other people is love. We don’t isolate ourselves, we don’t exclude people from our mind or heart, but we don’t intrude to their field either. We are open and sensitive. Connected and open.[/lvca_tab][/lvca_tabs]