the first time i was in an anusara yoga class and heard "breathe into your back body" i was like, "umm, did she say my backbody ...what's a backbody??" and then, five minutes later, i thought "i think i love that phrase."
for me, the term back body is super meaningful. it was shocking the first time i heard it, because i didn't know how to interpret it. but, as i thought more about it, i realized the beautiful underlying themes. we are all so focused on the front. we look from the front, we only ever see ourselves from the front, we walk to the front, we bend forward (and hunch over) countless times a day, and we are all very obsessed with moving forward. so to focus on our back body is to greatly shift our perspective; to give attention to that space that never receives attention. it also puts us a little further in touch with our self.
the back body represents the universal, and the front body represents the individual. being in the back body, and moving from the back body, fosters intention in thoughts and actions. it's about noticing the energy that is all around us, without throwing lots of extra energy into our environments unnecessarily.
one of the easiest ways for me to get into my back body is to start in a plank. this is because i can orient the back body toward the sky (or ceiling), and my eye gaze is at the floor, so there isn't much to distract me back to my front body. imagining my back body is magnetically being pulled upward helps me find that weightless feeling where my attention moves inward and a bit back-ward. breathing into your back body (try puffing your lower back with air as you inhale) also pulls attention and awareness there. (and, after doing some planks, try some plank stretches i posted!)
when we are "in" the back body, we can begin to see, feel, and move from a more integrated space. for me, when i'm in my back body, everything seems more amazing. i'm able to receive a little more, and, in turn, my offerings back to the world also increase in quality.
and so my new endeavor is to be a snail. i don't need to be the fastest. i don't need to be the smartest. i don't need to be the best at every(any)thing. i want to be at home in my life, and know that i am always at home in my body.
and so, with intention, i creep along toward tomorrow.
(original link for snail yoga pic)