Every Man is a Builder of a Temple called His Body. – Henry David Thoreau Lower back pain has a long history in my life. Over the years I got used to a sensation of stinging pain at the back of my pelvis to one side when I came out of a standing forward bend, twist, or when standing up after a long period of sitting. Pretty quickly I figured out its origin could be traced back to the sacrum, this large triangular bone at the base of the spine, which provides the gravitational center of our body around which we move, twist and turn.
The question I most frequently come across when it comes to explain the difference between yoga and yoga therapy is: Why do we need yoga therapy if yoga in itself is said to be a healing practice? This is actually an absolutely justified question, as there is even a word you might have heard before: yoga chikitsa (योग चिकित्सा, yoga cikitsā), which is based in the Astanga Yoga tradition, and is the sanksrit (संक्सृत्, saṁksr̥t) name for the primary series. It is often translated as yoga therapy, as this series is supposed to purify and heal the body. This first or primary series forms the basis for all subsequent series, and also for all yoga styles that have employed the concept of vinyasa, the fusing of movement and breath. The name “first” implies that this is where we begin our practice, and surely one would expect that starting at the beginning should keep every practitioner safe and healthy. My own experience nevertheless shows a different reality.