What Is Awareness Based Yoga? – Combining Feldenkrais and Yoga – By Barbara Anderson
At age 15 I found Richard Hittleman’s “28 days of Yoga” book in a local grocery store and began teaching myself yoga. Yoga felt so familiar to me, as if I had done it many times before. But 10 years later when I developed a severe lower back problem, yoga didn’t make a dent in the pain. But then nothing else did either.
My “lower back’ problem began when I started studying dance. I was taking one of my very first modern dance classes in an unheated, old church in the winter in Chicago. The teacher had us sit on the ground to cool down. Then he opened a huge window behind me. I felt that freezing air hit my back. That night I was in the emergency room bent over and unable to stand up.
For 7 years I had debilitating back pain including a solid year of sciatica. Traditional medicine offered cortisone shots and spinal fusion. Nope, not for me. I lived with that pain through graduate school in dance. I performed in pain. I took classes in pain. I taught dance in pain. Imagine the pain I felt waitressing!
Finally I found a somatic practitioner who taught me how to gently and effortlessly tilt my tailbone to the ceiling. I did that practice daily for 3 months and, viola, my pain was gone, never to return.