The Pelvic Floor
Kegels. Pelvic floor exercises. Do you know where they are? Do you know how to do them? Whatever you refer to them as, chances are you've heard of them and know you should be doing them - but why?
The pelvic floor is a sling of muscles found in the pelvis. Its job is to hold in the pelvic contents and aid us in going to the toilet, having sex, being pregnant and giving birth. It also plays a vital role in women's health as reduction in strengthen of the pelvic floor can lead to incontinence (urinary and faecal), back pain, issues having intercourse and even prolapse (when the bladder/uterus/bowel present outside of the body).
During the class we learnt how to 'find' our pelvic floor by tilting the pelvis and located the 4 corners - think DIAMOND 🌟 and strengthening this group of muscles. During pregnancy, your growing baby puts more pressure on these muscles but if you experience any degree of incontinence it's always best to discuss it with your health professional.
During birth, the pelvic floor needs to relax to allow for the birth of your baby....this is the opposite of what we usually want it to do. Deepening your connection to your pelvic floor by strengthening and relaxing, can help you achieve this during birth. We explored the 'Golden Thread" breath to add a visual element to the practice. Exhaling slowly through the mouth while consciously relaxing the pelvic floor and visualising a golden thread being gently blown further away from you.
If you are visual person, you could change the thread to something else that feels right for you. For instance;
Blowing a small boat on the sea further away
Painting a wall with your breath - using any colours you choose.
These techniques are also useful as coping techniques for labour, not just to relax the pelvic floor but during contractions or to support you during active rest.
"Be in control of your body and not at its mercy" - Joseph Pilates