I wasn’t necessarily going to address the energetic connections of the pelvic floor in this article, however in light of the intense stress and fear surrounding this election week I think it’s important to at least draw a connection between the physical and energetic bodies. Anatomically the pelvic floor is a group of muscles that sits at the base of your body lining the bowl of your pelvis. Energetically the pelvic floor sits in and surrounds the first (root) chakra of the energetic body. To boil it down really briefly the root chakra represents our basic instinctual survival needs. It deals with things like safety, boundaries, security, our ancestors and family, how supported we feel. Many many of us are feeling threatened in all of these aspects right now so my hope is that perhaps even if you don’t have pelvic floor “issues” these poses might help you to connect with your root (or pelvic floor) in way that is healing to the stressors we all are accumulating in our bodies right now during this trying time in our country.
With fresh inspiration in prepping for my upcoming Yoga for Pelvic Health workshop at Sarton Physical Therapy this weekend, I thought I’d share my 3 favorite yoga poses to help increase pelvic floor awareness, proprioception (the feeling of where we are or a body part is in space), and connection to our roots.
A couple of disclaimers: 1) In my workshops I go through a full lecture on anatomy and function prior to teaching yoga postures because having a clear mental image of these structures is key in making the mind/body connection to this “foreign” area of our bodies. For the sake of time today I’m going to refer you to my good friend Rachel Gelman, DPT's ANATOMY BLOGS for MEN AND WOMEN in order to get you acquainted to the pelvic floor. 2) I’ve spent the last year and half developing yoga programs for a variety of different kinds of clients so my advice is to always consult with a trained physical therapist for a full evaluation of your pelvic floor- especially if you have pain!
With of all that said the following are 3 of my favorite poses for pelvic awareness, how to perform them, and most importantly what to think about while moving through the postures. These poses are generally appropriate for anyone (though there are some exceptions) building awareness of their pelvic floor and looking to facilitate the mind/body connection.
Cat and Cow Poses