What are the three things I learnt from teaching pregnancy yoga that every yoga teacher should know?
The things yoga teachers learn from pregnancy yoga
Part two – the pelvic floor.
It is really important. The pelvic floor is so essential for the whole of our alignment and movement, our whole body. It is foundational.
It is really important for everyone and it’s not just about controlling your pee.
It holds our bladder, guts, and yes the womb, but not just the womb, all the lower internal organs in place. Guess what? Everyone of us have a pelvis floor, men, non binary folk, everyone needs one otherwise, all of the intestines would fall out. In fact hernias and prolapse are quite common in men. So if we learn about how to work well with pelvic floor muscles it is going to have multiply health benefits.
We can become consciously aware of the pelvic floor. We can start to build that connection with our mind and body so that we have a connection with our pelvic floor where we can get supported from the inside in a dynamic way. And that is going to transform all of our yoga practice. Our Asana just going to be more stable, easier, much more aligned.
We will feel more stable. So that’s always going to feel great in our standing poses. We’ll have a little bit more control in our balancing poses too.
But, in a way, so what? I love yoga, but that’s not the real reason that we do it, to feel stable in tree pose, what will that give us in our life? A sense of stability, strength, balance and awareness of the pelvic floor leads us to a positive relationship with ourselves, our whole selves, including our sex organs. It is liberating that we can be aware of our genitals in a non sexualized way, not looking to exploit or gain anything, just awareness. Looking at all the body including the pelvic floor and our lady or man bits with non judgemental awareness, not shame, not lust, just awareness, acceptance and maybe love.
So that’s really, really positive, to have a safe space where you can practise being safe in your whole body. I know yoga hasn’t always been that space for everybody, I want to acknowledge that, and state here that it should be. Fortunately for me it has been and that’s been transformative. My relationship to my whole self, my sense of connection to my body and my sexual organs has been transformed by yoga and what a gift that is. I want that for everyone, pregnant or not. Love your pelvic floor.
So that’s the second thing, make friends with your pelvic floor. Really, really important. Tone it, sure, learn how to squeeze and release it, fine, but far more important is build subtle awareness, how to find a gentle tone, and good postural alignment with it so we can soften when we need to and gain its support for our squats and work with our whole body and as we do that learn to love it. Can we do that for ourselves? Can we support our students with it? So that its not something to feel shame about because you haven’t done 100 kegels, 100 kegels isn’t always the best thing to do anyway. Learn about the pelvic floor. It’s really key in pregnancy, and so important in post natal yoga and really, really useful for everybody.