Exercises Benefiting Your Pelvic Floor

Below find a succinct definition of what muscles comprise your pelvic floor.  When you deliver a baby vaginally these are the muscles stretching to allow baby to pass through your cervix and pelvis.  It is widely understood that exercising and strengthening these muscles during pregnancy facilitates rapid healing and health post delivery.  For women bearing several babies, it is essential to maintain these muscles for comfort and ‘piddle control’.  It is wise for women who deliver via C-Section or do not bare children to exercise these muscles as well in order to keep them strong and contracted through out their lifetime.  As we do so we find the strengthening of the pelvic muscles to eliminate the dibbling of urine when laughing or exercising hard.  Below, exercise aficionado, Aurora, walks us through some ways to do this at home.  She also offers classes and online support.  Please let me know what you discover in connecting with her.  I would love to hear what you think!!!  JUDY

Welcome! I’m Aurora: lover of coffee, chiropractic wifey, mommy of 2 (soon to be 3), yoga instructor, behavior analyst, blogger, and creator of Well Aligned Woman. I’m wearing a lot of hats over here and finding balance is work. I write what I am passionate about- aligning my life and finding that balance so I can thrive in each of these roles while staying connected to who I TRULY am: love. I know, it sounds fluffy, but it’s true: we all come from love, to be love, to spread love, and who can argue that our world doesn’t need more love? Come on this journey with me in an effort to align all aspects of life (body, mind, spirit) in order to spread love and light in the limited time we have here on this earth.

How familiar are you with your pelvic floor? Does most of your understanding include a limited description of how to do a kegel? Are you even sure what a kegel is? Usually when we are told to do kegels, we are told to tighten the muscles that we feel when we stop the flow of urine. Unfortunately, this is a pretty vague description of what is happening down there. The pelvic floor is a diamond shape system of muscles that lie at the base of the pelvis, between the pubic bone, tail bone, and two sitting bones. There are three layers of pelvic floor muscles that help hold everything in. These muscles are an important part of your core and keeping your pelvic floor healthy is vital to regaining core strength after you have a baby. If you are currently pregnant, you can imagine that the weight of baby can stretch the pelvic floor muscles, but that doesn’t mean you have to pee your pants every time you laugh for the rest of your life! In fact, pregnancy is a great time to start getting in touch with how to lengthen AND strengthen your pelvic floor. So, how do you do that? One great way is yoga. Learning how to engage your pelvic floor while practicing yoga is excellent exercise. First, it’s important to make sure you are in tune with how to activate and release the muscles while in a neutral pelvis position.

Try this:

Take a seat on a stool sitting directly on top of your two sit – bones. Rock side to side in order to feel both sit – bones grounding evenly into the stool and as you come to a still seat, notice if you’re able to feel the natural curve of your low back. It’s important to make sure you aren’t tucking your tail or over arching your lumbar spine so try and find the sense that both your tail bone and pubic bone pointing downward evenly to find a neutral pelvis position in which you can feel your spine lengthen from. Take a few deep breaths here, filling the entire torso with air and slowly exhaling. On the next inhale, imagine the diaphragm (the dome shaped organ right below your rib cage) flattening down toward your pelvis allowing the pelvic floor to soften and spread. On your exhale, imagine the pelvic floor muscles drawing together at the perineum (the space between the vaginal and anal openings) and lifting the perineum toward the crown of your head. With every breath, work on releasing your pelvic floor on each inhale, gathering and lifting the muscles on each exhale. Take this as an opportunity to begin to notice which area you find it difficult to engage or stretch in an effort to get to know what you may need more for your body (stretching or engaging?). Once this work begins to feel comfortable, slowly bring it into your yoga practice.

Here are some great beginning poses to practice holding and using this breath work ; Warrior 2, Triangle Pose, Chair Pose, Downward Facing Dog, and Child’s Pose. (you can look these up only for photos and explanation on how to excute)  If you are interested in learning more, feel free to join me for a yoga class at You and the Mat in Laguna Niguel on Tuesday evenings or anytime online at www.devataactive.com. Use the promo code AURORA for a free month trial. I’d love to connect and answer any questions you may have. You can follow me @wellalignedwoman or email me at aurora@wellalignedwoman.com. Be well and aligned!

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Happy Birthday America!!!!!

Have you ever wondered where our national anthem originated?  This song is sung before sporting events, congressional sessions, and often at school.  How did it begin?  What inspired it?  How did a nation as diverse as ours agree on one song that represents us?   Intelligent questions, you say.

On the evening of September 14, 1814, Fort McHenry, in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, was under attack.  As an American military post it proudly flew our national flag.  In the song, Francis Scott Key, the author, talks about bombs bursting the air and the glare of red rockets. He describes the fog hiding the fort from sight and the concern as to what flag was flying over the fort after the night of content bombardment.  In military conquests the first thing a conquering army does is post their flag over the vanquished post, claiming victory in the battle.

Key, an American, witnessed the struggle, the intensity of the battle, and the trepidation  as to who won.  As the fog cleared in the early morning he viewed a tattered American flag flying over the embattled fort.  The Americans had held out and claimed victory.  In this excitement he pinned the poem that would later be put to music and eventually become the song representing our nation.

“The Star-Spangled Banner” was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889, and by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.  (Wikipedia)

THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER

The National Anthem of the United States of America                                                                                                                                                                                          Written by Sir Francis Scott Key 1814

The lyrics come from “Defense of Fort McHenry”, a poem written in 1814
by the 35-year-old amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the
bombardment of Fort McHenry by Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay
during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Words to the Wise

In previous blogs we have discussed the importance of Mommy understanding her needs and learning how to clarify them so others can help.  Recently, a friend of mine posted just this kind of information on her blog.  Her children are older, so her comments deal with those with whom one can logically communicate.  If your kids are not there yet, read and learn for the future.  As always, consistency and follow through are vital.  Mean what you say, or save it for another time.  No one is perfect.  Do your best and be sure to have others with whom to discuss your ideas.  It helps to run your thoughts by friends going through the same issues or grandma types (mom, grand mom, aunties, mature friends) who have already lived through it with their kids.  The encouragement of knowing you are not alone helps immensely!

RelationTips by Jorja Stewart                                                 http://www.jorjastewart.com

For many years, I assumed that I was supposed to sacrificially serve my family and say nothing about my own needs. This only resulted in resentment on my part and insensitivity on theirs.  I will share some lessons I learned along the way that helped our whole family to be more considerate and work together as a team.

  1. Identify your need and be specific about how the other person can meet that need.  For example: You might say to your spouse: “I could use a long, tender hug, right now. Would you be willing to give me one?” (We must be careful not to chastise them if they don’t do it the way we’d like. Instead of saying, “That wasn’t much of a hug,” thank them for it.)                                                                                                                                                                    Once I had a creative discussion with our daughters about when they could set the table so that I wouldn’t have to interrupt their play time. I needed their help but was willing to work with them on finding a solution that worked for all of us.
  2. Decide what is important to you.  If something is not truly important, do not ask your children to do it.  In my younger years, I was often guilty of asking our children to do things and then letting them get away without doing them. Usually this was because I was tired and did not want the hassle of an argument. The problem with this is the children could either assume that I did not really need their help, or they could learn to ignore me. Consistent follow up is crucial!
  3. Teach your children how to do the tasks you want of them.  First of all, make sure your expectations are realistic. Once you’ve identified what they are capable of, and what you want them to do, show them how. Be sure to give them lots of praise for their effort!
  4. Set up chore charts or assignments and hold them accountable.  Depending on the child’s age, you might have a chart that lists their chores and then give them a sticker to put on the chart when they complete a task. It’s important that you and your spouse agree as to rewards for accomplishments and consequences for failure. Be clear with the children as to what the rewards and consequences are. Once you initiate the charts, make sure you are consistent! This will teach them to be dependable and it will be a big help to you.

It’s amazing how well children respond to responsibility when their parents praise them and follow through consistently. Nurture a helpful spirit and everyone in your family will benefit!                                             This entry was posted in Parenting on June 26, 2017.