The Quadratus Lumborum and the FIRST sutra of the Yoga Sutras.
Updated: Sep 7, 2020
"OUCH! What is that muscle you are pressing into?! "
--I hear from so many of my clients these days who have never been touched here.
THAT is your QL, or Quadratus Lumborum.
It is the muscle that inserts and attaches to the medial half of your 12th rib and transverse processes of L1-4 and originates at the posterior iliac crest and iliolumbar ligament. It's main job is to elevate the hip/ pelvis and laterally flex the trunk. It is also involved in breathing because of its attachment to the ribs and fibers merging with the diaphragm.. It often has trigger points and pain here can often mimic sciatica. It's basically involved in hiking, walking, biking, stepping up or back or to the side.
Its body metaphors include ability, dragging your feet, initiating purposeful steps, and leaning on others.
I don't know about you all, but right now I am experiencing all of the above in my life! In the midst of a pandemic, it has been hard to take the next steps towards anything.
Its been hard to do things for my business, to do the laundry, to clean the kitchen, to get out and do the things I love to do, and even get to my mat in the morning...
It has also been hard for my to open to myself and others.
I have been in hiding!
Low and behold, I started to experience severe lower back pain around my S.I. joint after a long backpacking trip. One that I went on to gain back my solitude, spirituality, confidence, autonomy, sense of adventure, and freedom. Yes, I brought way more than I needed (figuratively and literally). Yes, I did way more miles and vertical gain than anticipated due to poor planning. Yes, I bit off way more that I could chew (about 60 miles in 5 days) due to sheer stubbornness. As my teacher would say, "what was the state you were in BEFORE the trip?"
Well, I've been working out a TON, not doing enough stretching, stressed and overworked, anxious about the pandemic, not climbing, feeling spiritually disconnected, closed to my partner, and somewhat resentful, the list goes on...
Since the trip, I've been to the chiropractor 3 times, received 2 massages, and started taking my asana practice a little more seriously again. My back pain is still here over month later.
My teacher would also say, "Why don't you stop DOING that (pain), (or whatever state your mind is in)?"
Hmm...Why don't I?
Its hard. Its hard to use the tools I know work very well to bring balance to all of the above. Its hard to guide others to do the same when I'm struggling myself.
Life is harder right now!
Two weeks ago, I realized that I needed help. I need guidance. I need accountability.
I need grace and love. I need to seek the help I'm asking others to seek.
In this realization, I reached out to YogaWell, a mentor matching and yoga therapeutic school. I did this instead of a traditional psychotherapist because I need help with the heart, not the mind. I have spent a lot of time in the traditional psycho-analytic setting. I do think this is helpful for some and have benefitted in the past, however, now is different. I know that all that ails me is the attachment to the illusion of myself, not the things themselves. I am seeking internal discernment between that which I feel and that which is Truth. I am seeking depth to my spirituality and practice that cannot be accomplished with words, but with a deeper connection to the highest of frequencies, to God, to Great Spirit. We are not meant to practice yoga on our own, but with a teacher. We all need guidance and mentorship, especially now.
Yesterday, I began preparing for another move out of our apartment and booked another appointment for bodywork. Yesterday, I went climbing for the second time in one week all summer and finally felt excited for the fall.
Today I taught my 3rd yoga class in a row.
Today I had my first meeting with my yoga therapist and mentor.
Today, I started to learn the first 2 yoga sutras by heart with a mentor. Today, I cleaned out my car.
Today I opened myself up to love and possibility.
Today I decided to do something different.
Tomorrow is a different day.
And NOW, we take up the study of yoga.