Yoga for your back and your bliss |

Yoga for your back and your bliss

Judy Fuller and Casey Gerdes
Special to The Union

Yoga says, “bliss is your ultimate state.”

But what is bliss? It is a deep, inner sense of well-being and ease. It is relaxation and inner peace, a quiet mind and more.

Most of us don’t experience bliss very often. What most of us feel much of the time might be described as the opposite of bliss!

Why? The core tension we accumulate in our bodies over time can create all kinds of physical problems and pain.

By core tension, I mean tension in the muscles attached to the spine. This tension pulls the spinal vertebrae closer together or out of place. In addition to causing physical discomfort, this core tension impedes your ability to feel blissful.

One of the ancient yoga texts says, “The bliss of consciousness is acquired by the expansion of the central energy channel (the spine)” (Pratyabhijnyahrdayam, sutra 17).

This means your spine must be relaxed and opened for you to experience bliss. Svaroopa yoga specializes in releasing the core tensions held in the deepest layers of your body. We call it “core opening.”

We sequence yoga poses in a specific order to first release tension in the muscles connected to your tailbone, then carry the release sequentially up your spine through your sacrum, waist (lumbar region), ribcage, shoulders, neck and skull.

This spinal release opens more space for the vertebrae, the discs in between and the delicate nerve roots that command every muscle, bone, artery, organ and gland in your body.

The resulting lengthening and softening of back and neck muscles can bring incredible relief for those suffering from back and neck tension or pain.

For me, chronic low back pain and sciatica present for more than three years was relieved in a few months of daily practice. Now if I experience discomfort, a 20-minute yoga practice eases it.

Svaroopa yoga is not exercise, with sweat and strain.

Instead, through supportive propping and precise alignment, your body naturally unwinds from the inside out. Over time your body relearns how to sit, stand and move from core openness, rather than holding. Flexibility, strength, vitality and stamina naturally emerge, along with your innate sense of well-being and bliss. Dissolving these tensions allows you to live with ease, both in your body and in your deeper self.

Living with a more open spine allows you to gradually learn to surrender into a grace that is ever-present within you. You begin to release your tendency to hold yourself tightly. You step more fully into living from your true self – and your bliss.

Come to a Svaroopa yoga class and experience a more open spine for yourself!

Grass Valley resident Judy Fuller is a certified massage therapist and registered yoga teacher since 1990. She teaches Svaroopa yoga at Wild Mountain Yoga Center, Nevada City. Contact her at (530) 274-2635.

What: Svaroopa yoga “Bliss Weekend;” all levels of students welcome

Who: Casey Gerdes, senior Svaroopa teacher

Where: Wild Mountain Yoga Center, 571 Searls Ave., Nevada City (Seven Hills District)

When: March 26 through 28

Cost: $60 to $255

More info: (530) 265-4072 or

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