I’ve been having a lovely romance with yoga lately, rekindling an old flame that was merely an ember for a long time. This relationship led me to a workshop this past weekend at a local yoga studio called “The Pelvis: Foundation of Movement, Fountain of Life”. The co-facilitators, Deane Juhan and Nicole Becker wove a fascinating tapestry with plenty of information, images and body movement/exploration to ground us deeper into our pelvic bowl – both physically and energetically. From a flyer about the workshop:
“The structural support, movement, and energetics of the pelvic bowl constitute our primary foundations. Its strength, flexibility and conscious organization are central to all of our activities, forming the bridge between our upper and lower body, and the key to the organization of the spine.
Misalignment of the pelvic bones and sacrum during standing, sitting and moving can result in chronic hip and low back pain, sciatica as well as dysfunction in the digestive, reproductive, and nervous systems.
The two wings of the pelvis and the sacrum “sacred bone” form the container for some of our densest concentrations of the lymph nodes. The pelvic bowl contains the first two chakras–our basic life force, and the divine eros that connects us in fundamental ways to ourselves, to one another, and to the world. It is the lower engine of our crucial cranio-sacral rhythm, the southern pole of our central nervous system, a major exit for the elimination of toxins.”
As a birthworker, I have a long standing respect & admiration for the amazing pelvis. I love bringing out my model pelvis with clients and demonstrating the movement within the pelvic bones due to the hormones of pregnancy relaxing connective tissue as well as the baby’s spiral journey through the pelvis during labor and birth.
Unfortunately, I was not rooted in my pelvic foundation during my own pregnancy and birth. Looking back, I realize that as a fairly flexible person, I over-stretched during prenatal yoga and did not fully heal a birthing injury to my tailbone during my postpartum. I wasn’t tapped into bodywork (chiropractic, cranial-sacral, etc.) 16 years ago. Plus, I was young! My body didn’t have aches and pains! It wasn’t until the injury re-emerged several years later that I realized I had nagging, chronic achiness in my low back on the left side that had been there for years. I connected with amazing bodyworkers who brought me some relief, but the pain always returned.
As a result of my lack of pelvic awareness, I have been working with lower back & pelvic pain for years now. Sometimes it is not there at all which requires dedication on my end to stay embodied and working toward balance. I call on my bodyworkers when I need them, yet, more and more I am trying to work with yoga as opposed to having someone on the outside manipulate my body into a “balanced” state that I eventually move out of due to ingrained patterns. This awareness I receive from my own body during yoga is very empowering – it’s something I can do for myself! Of course there are other pieces – diet & nutrition being key - that I integrate into my life to keep me feeling fluid and spacious. Yet yoga and body awareness are the foundation. As the pelvis is the foundation of movement…
What arose for me during this workshop is a strong desire to share with women about the pelvis during pregnancy, birth & postpartum. My hope is that having more information and resources will lead to embodied empowerment and juicy wholeness for women during their childbearing years. That this will be a foundation for them to move into a healthy menopause, as well as an opportunity to teach their own daughters about pelvic health in all its richness.
I will continue this exploration of the pelvis with posts on the pelvis and pelvic floor during pregnancy, birth & postpartum… stay tuned!