Do you want to start practicing yoga for your pelvic pain?
Start with your breath!
I know what you’re thinking… we already know to breathe - well, you are absolutely freaking fantastic!
But are you doing it while doing your stretches?
We often get stretches from our pelvic pt, or we see stretches online for overactive pelvic floor dysfunction. All of this, is great! You finding these poses, actively trying to change the state you’re in right now, is even more absolutely freaking fantastic! You are taking matters into your own hands (mental high five ✋🏽).
But in my opinion, you can do as many yoga poses as you want to, but if you don’t involve the breath, mindful breathing, I think you’re doing yourself and your pelvic a disservice - and you won't get as much as you want to out of your stretching/releasing.
The breath doesn’t just help to calm down your nervous system, to centre and relax you, but it also invites in space, it gets things moving, it invites in oxygen and blood flow to the parts of the body that may feel a little bit forgotten at times (hello there tense pelvic floor muscles).
If you live with overactive pelvic floor dysfunction, your pelvic floor muscles are probably holding on for dear life (I know this feeling), how much blood flow do you think is happening in those muscles? You want to learn to release that “hold”, that tension, to find ease, to let the pelvic floor move with the breath. Then, your pelvis is gonna love you for it.
Inhale, blossoming. Exhale, closing.
Before even thinking about stretching, practicing the “physical part of yoga”,
✨ Start with the breath
Lie down on your bed or mat with your feet planted on the floor, and just notice your breath. Start to be mindful of how you breathe. Can you find more ease in the breath, connect with your diaphragmatic breaths, invite the breath into your pelvis, your pelvic floor. Inhale, blossoming. Exhale, closing.
✨ Take the breath with you as you move through the poses
Once you find the breath, find poses where you can move with the breath - think Cat/Cow, table to Child's pose. Start to be aware of the breath as you move.
Once you learn to move with the breath, you’ll be more aware of it in more static poses where you hold the pose for a little while longer.
✨ When you land in a deeper pose If you’re noticing that you are taking shallow breaths, ease out of the pose.
I see this in my yoga classes all the time, a student might come into a deeper pose, as in a deeper pose for them - that might be Child’s pose, figure 4. And they start breathing in the upper chest.
If that’s the case, if you can’t breathe into your pelvis, your beautiful belly, ease out of the pose, modify, use pillows to support you.
✨ If you are taking shallow breaths your body will mostly likely hold back
You’re practicing yoga to release the tension in your pelvic floor. If you’re taking shallow breaths because you’ve gone too deep into a pose, what does that do to your nervous system? Your body is literally gonna hold you back from you releasing that tension. You want to find openness, use the breath to help you.
Everything in the body is interconnected.
By finding that breath and starting there, you are gonna notice tremendous relief in your pelvis. And if you find a pose online that you want to try, land in it, notice if you can breathe into the pelvis, if the pose feels good in your body. If it doesn't feel good, don't do it. Don't force your body into something it doesn't want to go into, because that won't give you that release that you are looking for, and you might just cause more tension.
And keep moving your body, your body is amazing - and if you're supporting your pelvis, it will support you back.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments 💗 Penny