I still remember how startled I was when my beloved yoga teacher Angela asked us to bring our awareness to our “back body.” What? There’s something back there worth paying attention to? I’d never had back pain and seldom used a backscratcher, so like many people who live too much in their heads, I needed the reminder.
In the years since then I’ve often found it a helpful prompt, especially when I realize I am caught in a train of thought that’s going nowhere. So whether I’m off my meditation cushion or on, one thing I’ll do is imagine breathing into my back, started at my bottom on the cushion or chair, and slowly moving awareness up my back, feeling the body breathing. It can be very grounding.
Photos: Bhutan, 1986