Your Sacrum – The Sacred Bone
Sacrum is derived from Latin. “Um” means bone. “Sacrum” means sacred bone. No wonder! Your spine rests upon the sacrum with three independent joints. When the three joints operate as designed, life flows easily. Your back becomes both strong and flexible. An ancient Roman soldier would have understood this when entering battle because his life depended on using his sacred bone. A person with an engaged sacrum punches well above his/her weight.
In contrast, a poorly oriented sacrum unbalances the entire spine. Back pain and leg weakness are foreshadowed. Headaches frequently originate from the sacrum.
Physically, the sacrum is connected to several hip structures. This affects personal presentation. For example, toned muscles originating from the sacrum support erect posture and a thinner belly-button area. The tendency toward a “beer gut” is reduced. With proper use, modestly overweight people don’t appear overweight. When they walk, the legs seem to glide smoothly under the upper body.
With faulty use, even underweight people seem overweight as the guts spill forward; the technical term is a “soft body”. Sacral movement is stiff, limited and uncomfortable.
Equally or more important, your sacrum affects your sense of well-being. Forget the anxiety pills. A nerve plexus in front of the sacrum creates a feeling that “everything is right” – but only when the nerve plexus is “open”. That nerve plexus is the only place in the human body where counterbalancing nerves intersect. Tension and relaxation meld into a “gut feeling” that life is good.
So, how do you develop better sacral movement? Here are four suggestions.
First, pretend that the weight of your butt drops down to your knees. It’s a useful visual that encourages deep muscles to operate within an appropriate span. Many people assume that hip joints are at their belt line. That’s not true since your belt rides the top of the pelvis. Hip joints are lower. They are near the pelvic bottom, where the legs attach to the hip. Feel them where they are.
Second, maintain the above picture of hip joints and practice rotations. Imagine that the rotation originates at the hip joints (not at the beltline). It feels like you’re “coming out of the front crease” - where legs meet torso. Observe how the sacrum now moves passively with you. Let that happen.
Third, breathe to the front surface of the sacrum. Picture your breath traveling downward in front of the spine, passing in front of the sacrum, continuing downward through the legs, and exiting through the feet. Don’t restrict the breath. Let it flow down and out. Imagine roots growing from your feet and extending to the center of the earth. The breath follows those roots.
Fourth, visualize your sacrum as a long heavy tail. Let the weight of that tail pull the lower tip of the sacrum downward and frontward. Simultaneously, the top of the sacrum drifts backward. This visual rotates the sacrum into a more vertical orientation. You will instantly feel increased strength and support.
Don’t ignore the sacrum. Explore its capability and enjoy the benefits.