When I tell people that ‘sucking and tucking’ (tummy in, bum squeezed under) is probably contributing to, if not causing their Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (and back, neck, shoulder pain, core weakness, possibly hypertension and anxiety issues) they are often shocked and confused.
“But that’s how I’ve been told to stand all of my life!”
Sorry, but it’s one big fat, misinformed, problematic, outdated ‘untruth’.
Our modern Western lifestyle, with its chronic orientation around sitting, coupled with our propensity to tuck the tail under, flattening out the lumbar spine and squashing the gluteal (bum) muscles = a population where 1 out off 3 women will experience pelvic floor dysfunction to some degree in their lives*.
Guess what. This does not happen in indigenous cultures where postural alignment and butt strength remains true from two to one hundred and two. Indigenous people are laughing all the way to their squatting latrine without wetting their pants once.
There is a fast growing awareness across the Western world that what we do to the environment; what we do to our bodies, what we eat and drink, how we sleep, how we think – ALL contribute directly to our health. And having survived the 80’s & 90’s, we all now know that actually, it’s not the big house but Our Health that is Our Wealth.
With everyone living longer and with the realisation that old age is pretty miserable if you are infirm, people are starting to take managing their mental and physical health seriously.
In my humble opinion, Posture – how you hold yourself while out running, walking, gardening, and (for too much of the day), sitting, is the foundation stone that is missing for many.
There may well be decades of conditioning to undo. But every worthwhile journey (and isn’t your long term health just that?) starts with, well, that first step.
My new Posture & Pelvic Floor Yoga class will teach you how to realign your bones and muscles. Straight away you’ll feel different! We’ll open and release the muscles supporting the pelvis to allow you to start mobilising this area. We’ll strengthen and lift your bum (gluteal) muscles so that your pelvic floor can move to its functional length. We’ll focus on diaphragmatic breathing that nourishes the pelvic floor and ‘inner corset’ muscles and helps you release long held tension patterns. You’ll learn to breath well to calm your central nervous system! You’ll learn WHY you have shoulder and neck pain and how to change your posture and breathing to be rid of this affliction. And yes, where appropriate and in aligned positions, we’ll do some Kegel contractions 😉
There is a much bigger picture to your posture than just your pelvic floor health. In fact, it takes up a large bit of wall space in your journey through life.
Feeling tall, strong and graceful in your body makes the world feel and look, even more beautiful.
Linda Stephens is a YA Chartered Level 2 Yoga Teacher and has been teaching yoga since 2007.
She passionate about helping women of all ages achieve good physical and mental wellbeing.
Linda was on strict bed rest for four months with her third child and because of atrophied muscles, her pubic bone split at 31 weeks when she tried to get up suddenly. Initially unable to walk, Linda was diligent with research and rehabilitation and healed herself completely, now enjoying nothing more than jumping on the trampoline with her kids!
Through her extensive research and ongoing teaching, Linda found that much of the pelvic floor dysfunction she was coming across had to do with tension around the pelvis and postural misalignment.
Increasingly, Linda’s focus is on educating people about the natural alignment and function of the pelvis (the centre of one’s gravity) and how to stand and move well within the therapeutic realm of Yoga.
*Kaiser Permanente Division of Research