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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Be well and aligned!