The pelvic floor – it’s the seat of our power, the fulcrum of our energy balance, the gatekeeper to our pelvic organs, the key to your sexual pleasure…it is literally your sexiest set of muscles…so why do we find pelvic floors so utterly boring??
The pelvic floor needs a PR facelift. Pelvic floor exercise has been proven to help alleviate symptoms of stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. If you’re experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction, don’t put up with it, go to your GP and ask to be referred to a women’s health physio. If that isn’t possible for whatever reason (sometimes women are sadly told to go away and it’ll heal itself, or to come back in a few months if it gets worse…both of which aren’t the ideal way forward), find yourself a local Mummy MOT practitioner.
The pelvic floor is the oft-forgotten missing link with diastasis recti recovery – one of my postnatal clients has a signifcant diastasis – a gap in her tummy muscles where the two sides of the rectus abdominis have stretched away from each other through pregnancy – and had been trying to work on “abdominal exercises” to “close the gap”….and felt like she wasn’t getting anywhere. She came to one of my pelvic floor workshops and had a lightbulb moment that the proper activation of the pelvic floor which helped her to engage her transversus abdominis, the deep corset muscle which wraps around the lower belly and back. Tone and effective function in the transversus is vital for developing the strength to support the linea alba, the connective tissue that stretches, forming your diastasis recti.
Every Monday evening I lead a Pelvic Floor Meditation on my Instagram page – 7.30pm live, and then on my stories for 24 hours afterwards.
Pelvic floor meditation is a playful way of inviting you to explore your awareness of your pelvic floor. You can’t strengthen what you can’t connect to. We’re preoccupied with “kegels”, ready, steady, squeeeeeeeze!!”. But, apart from the fact that often we aren’t sure how to engage the muscles properly, this misses half the equation.
Imagine if you could only ever squeeze your bicep muscle. You’d be able to bend your arm in towards you, but not release it away. That would lead to over tightness in the muscle, allowing it ultimately to fatigue and not function properly, not to mention not being able to straighten your arm reach for your cup of tea. It’s exactly the same with the pelvic floor. You need to learn to release as well as strengthen. We all assume that after birth our pelvic floor is “weak”. Actually in almost half the cases a women’s health physio might see day to day, it is actually overly tight, or hypertonic. And in these cases in order to find balance and unlock proper function, you need to learn to release it.
During the pelvic floor meditation I begin with a 3-minute breathing space meditation, to allow you to inhabit your body fully and soften into your breath. Then, we do a gentle body scan, ultimately focusing on the pelvis area.
Take three long deep breaths now. Imagine a diamond shape, the shape between your pubic bone, sit bones, and tailbone. As you breathe in, visualise this diamond shape expanding and opening. As you breathe out, imagine the diamond shape drawing in and up inside you.
Breathe in, soften and open. Breathe out, draw in and up.
Come and join the Pelvic Floor Meditation every Monday! If you have any questions, please feel free to message me.
My new book, Pilates for Pregnancy is out now.