When I teach yoga I have a tendency to draw my students’ attention into the back of their bodies – to feel the space between their shoulderblades, to feel the breath in the back ribs, to bring length into the back of the neck and the small of the back. We human beans are so front plane orientated that sometimes we forget we have a back – we never see it, we hardly ever think about it until it starts to give us pain, then we think of nothing else.
So it seems appropriate that the first “proper” massage I have learned is a back massage. My favourite part of the body. All those lovely muscles and sinews with beautiful names – rhomboid, trapezium, lattisimus dorsi, erector spinae, levator scapulae. Gorgeous!
The reasons for bringing the awareness to the back in yoga and starting on the back in massage are different but stem from the same source. Our lack of awareness of the back plane of our bodies means we are less embarrassed by our backs. As a massage therapist we can start work there without the client feeling ashamed or vulnerable. Most of our body image issues and hang ups take place in the front plane of the body. Who (apart from me) has a hang up about their backs?
And the lucky people who get to massage me get to look at the cute little fella up top for half an hour
I’m an anatomy dork. Can’t get enough of it. The first book I ever remember reading was “How the Body Works”. According to Ma Yogini the first time I was left alone in front of the TV I found a channel showing a woman giving birth….. I cannot get enough of this anatomy lark. I could go on for hours. But I won’t. Suffice to say this course feels so right, and so in tune with the yoga I teach and the way I teach yoga. So much so that today I bought myself a lovely portable massage table so I can practice practice practice…. Line up for your free massages, readers!