This month, Tias Little came into town and spent a weekend at 8 Limbs, dropping some serious knowledge on all of us who attended. I think I am still buzzing from that concentrated time of sitting and listening to someone so wise. I have studied with Tias for the past 6 years and it’s been so interesting to see how his teaching practice changes and where his true passion for yoga lies. Gone were all the straps and blocks and partner work of the past. His focus was on dharma and the Middle Way and the asana practice shifted to more of the subtle movements that I recognized from Rolf Movement and Feldenkrais.

As a Rolfer, I delight in this work that addresses the functional patterns in the body. After an hour of lying on our backs, slowly reaching an arm past our heads and gazing up in that direction (among other guided movements), I found my shoulder girdle had completely changed shape. My lungs had opened up and become vibrant after my arms had been differentiated from my torso. These kinds of shifts are the goldmines of my practice when I see this in Rolfing clients.

Next month, I begin the Back Care Series that Bryce Mathern, a Feldenkrais practitioner, so lovingly taught for the past few years. As he moves on to Colorado to study at Naropa, I am excited to be taking over this 6-week series.

Back pain can be such a tricky issue. Is it from an over-tensioning of the hips and hamstrings? Is it from an under-engaging of the multifidi and transverus? Bulging disc? Scoliosis? Post-surgery or post-injury? Postural habits that put strain on the whole spine? Energetic “backpack” where we store all the emotions we don’t want to deal with?

I hope to turn a light on to all of these questions during the course. After all, I had to examine all of these possibilities when my own back pain wouldn’t go away. When I finally found out via X-ray what was nagging (and then eventually yelling!) at me, there was sadness and then relief. A new chapter in my yoga practice and my daily routine.

The workshop this past weekend with Tias allowed me to really sit in that discomfort and explore it in a safe way. All the subtle movement work took loads of concentration and patience, but at the end, I feel like I have more tools in my toolbox to deal with this particular issue in my own back. And that is what I hope for each student taking this class.

Come as you are, and together we will explore yoga poses, Rolf Movement, postural (re)education. And hopefully, at the end of the 6 weeks, we will all have arrived at a better place.

Posted by: Kate Bradfield

The six week Back Care Series with Kate begins on Monday, October 4 at 7:15pm at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill.

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