In her recent post, Claudia asked a question that has been at the back of my mind for some time now: What is Sacral Nutation? I have been practicing a whole bunch of backbends (including, of course, the famous kapotasana) for some time now, but I honestly still don't know if my sacrum is actually nutating (Is this the right verb? Well, you know what I mean...) in those backbends.
There is, of course, no shortage of authoritative and detailed anatomical descriptions of sacral nutation out there. Gregor Maehle, for example, describes it as involving the sacrum moving forward relative to the pelvic bones, almost independently of the pelvic bones (I don't have his book handy here, but this is what I remember).
But honestly, I think there is one problem with just relying on anatomical explanations; they are practically useless from an experiential point of view. I mean, unless one knows what sacral nutation actually feels like in the body when one is doing a backbend, no amount of anatomical description, no matter how detailed, will help. This is particularly true in a backbend, because one can't see where one's own sacrum is in space when one is in the backbend. So what we need is a description of what sacral nutation feels like in the body of the practitioner.
So I emailed Kino earlier today, in search of the answer to this nagging question. To my great joy, she responded earlier this evening. Here's what she says,
At the risk of being very immodest, this is, of course, yours truly in the famous kapotasana :-)