A Tiny Arch In The Lower Back

arch in the lower back

As a yoga teacher I repeat myself endlessly. For months at a time an instruction will get in my head and I’ll repeat it ad nauseum. Some of these instructions have lasted for longer periods of time than others.

For the past few months I have been audio taping my classes and we are getting ready to offer them on the website. The nice thing about recording and editing is that I can cut out dead space, my lip smacking, my coffee drinking, my endless repetition of the words, like and really.

Once I edit a class my wife has been doing the practice in our living room which always freaks me out as it seems anytime I pass by she is scribbling notes on her legal pad for me to receive later.

Sometimes I’ll be in my office and hear her say, while I am intoning in the background, “I have been standing in Tadasana for two minutes.”

Her latest comment was been about one of my ubiquitous phrases “put a tiny arch in the lower back”.

“What does that mean?” She asked incredulously.

“It means that you want to have a small curve in the lower back.” I said evenly.

“Well you might know that but you say it all the time and I have no idea what you are talking about.”

Never let it be said that I can’t take a little criticism, so I took my case to the class I was teaching the next morning.

Mentioning that my wife Caitlin was doing the classes that I am taping and she mentioned that a tiny arch in the lower back instruction. Everyone started laughing. “Oh yeah, we have no idea what that means.”

The next class I taught afforded me another opportunity to bring it up. Without missing a beat a student said, “I have been meaning to ask you what that means.”

I have been saying this same phrase for years. Over and over again. And I will never say it again. And I would have happily stopped saying it long ago if someone had said something.

Today my wife mentioned that we might need a glossary of my phraseology that carries meaning for a grand total of one person—being me.

For what it is worth, a tiny arch in the lower back simply means that we want a curve in the lower back at almost all times and we want that curve to be as small or as long as possible.


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