YOUR SACRED SACRUM

The sacrum...meet your “Sacred Bone”. Maybe even take a moment as you continue reading to reach your hands around give it some love.

sacrumIf you’re unsure what exactly your sacrum is or where it begins and ends, keep reading. Your sacrum is a triangular shaped bone that consists of five fused segments or sections. It is located between your lower lumbar vertebrae (L5) and your coccyx (tailbone). It is basically the back wall of your pelvis and acts as the fulcrum for movement in your torso. It also helps create the bowl that holds all your innards in place. Each side nests against the the rest of your pelvis via your sacroiliac joint. If you have issues with sciatic or other nerve pain, it can often be because the sacroiliac joint or the surrounding tendons are impinging on the nerves that travel through one or more of the openings that line each side of your sacrum. There are four openings on each side of the vertebral column of your sacrum, each is the throughway for nerves and blood vessels.

sacral chakraThe sacrum has been referred to as a sacred or ‘holy’ bone in almost every culture since what seems to be the dawn of humanity. There are pictorial references in cave drawings, pottery, and other ritual art. It is also discussed in written text from about 400 B.C. Even with all of the references there is little understanding or agreement as to how the sacrum got its name and position of reverence. There are different explanations and stories in each culture and yet it all leads back to the same end result... your sacrum is your ‘sacred bone’. All that being said, I think it can be easy to assume that throughout time humans have recognized that life is created and held within the bowl of the pelvis, the sacrum is foundational to the structure of the bowl, both figuratively and literally. The Sacral Chakra is also located in the sacral area and has its own sacred, energetic qualities. 

How do you keep your sacrum happy and healthy? Besides eating well and staying hydrated you need to move, move, move your body... just be sure to move it in a wide range of motion. Prolonged sitting and linear exercises actually end up compressing the joints and shortening the tendons, which result in pain. I learned this the hard way, between running and frequent plane travel and sitting in front of the computer.

sacrum sacroiliacIf you do have pain it can be tempting to do stretching exercises to decompress the joints, however, this can actually add to the problem if you are not generating the stretch from the most supportive position. If your hamstrings are tight this can compound the issues. Guided imagery is also effective in opening up the sacrum. Take a moment and place your hands on your lower back. Settle your body, inhaling and exhaling. Then imagine your inhale as a warm, golden fluid; an elixir of health. See it flow into your body and down into your sacrum, pooling there beneath your hands. With each inhale allow this healing elixir to fill the sacred bowl that is your pelvis. Inhaling and exhaling, allowing your pelvic bowl to fill, allowing the elixir to flow to the palms of your hands as they hold your sacrum; warming, soothing, opening, and relaxing. Try this a couple of times a day, especially when sitting for extended periods of time and see if it helps. In short, supple up your sacrum, inviting flexibility, circulation and balance in body, mind, and spirit.

Want more info on taking care of your sacrum? This is a great article in Yoga Journal by Judith Lasater

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